I almost called this post tertium quid, but that's an inside joke and the insiders don't read this blog... anyway, let me introduce to you Thing Three.
Who is Thing Three? He's my BFF from college, so predates Things One and Two (and I just realized that I've numbered the Things in reverse order of how long I've known them, which must mean that a putative Thing Four would come from my HS years... or earlier). Thing Three and I were often assumed to be "in a relationship" but never were - just ask his girlfriends.
Yes, we spent many a night together but it was talking or teching. We originally hung out on different fringes of the same larger group but by Spring Semester of our first year, we had a schedule that synced one afternoon after lunch, so hung out and chatted while others did labs or something else. Turned out we were both Government majors, but he was pre-theological seminary. I was still pre-law at that time, but by junior year that dream ended as I found other things that interested me more. He was my go-to guy for quick shopping trips off campus (or to my parents' home), for testing new recipes and for general hanging out fun.
When graduation happened, we both came to NYC. He to start his career as a minister, me to start mine in non-profit theatre management (no, neither of us really wanted to make money then. how idealistic we were!). It was such a blessing to have someone nearby who was up for going to theatre (I got a lot of free tickets back then) or movies. And yes, having a good friend in the Big Bad City made things more bearable.
Then, in 1988, he left for his first congregation. We spoke on the phone and sent letters/cards back and forth but the inevitable happened - he met his lovely Lady Wife and I met Thing One. For a variety of reasons we lost touch, but thanks to a mutual friend and Facebook, we're back in each other's lives. Not the way we were, obviously, but still... I'm so grateful that he's there.
Despite my desire to declutter, having another Thing around feels good. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about him as the blog rolls on.
I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another. How could we not, except in a world of perfect parents, siblings, neighbours, companions? And then there is the question, on which so much depends, of how we react to the damage: whether we admit it or repress it, and how this affects our dealing with others. Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it; some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and then there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves, at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of.
- Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending