Unicorn and Mermaid, Me and You

“Marilla,” she demanded presently, “do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?”

“A—a what kind of friend?”

“A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I’ve dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it’s possible?”

–Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables”

Today is the birthday of one of my very best friends and one of the very best people ever to be born into this world. I wanted to write a post for her since I can’t celebrate with her in person, but now that I’m trying to do it, I’m finding that, as is so often the case with feelings, I don’t know the right words.

I don’t want this to be all about me, but the thing is, I can’t think of one of us without the other. We’ve spent a tragically short amount of time actually in the same space, but we’ve been in each other’s orbits for so many years. Our edges overlap, bleed into one another so that we’re an amalgamation of girl. Our blood rides in tandem, we been wove on the same loom. I love her and so I’ve had to try to learn to love myself.

She is a queen, the brightest star, the truest good. She sings beautifully, writes wonderfully (there’s no sharable evidence of that, so you’ll have to trust me), speaks honestly. There are layers to her that have been slowly and quietly peeled back over time, and even now I don’t claim to have seen beneath them all, but there’s also a bluntness to her when she’s comfortable that is more valuable than anything. I don’t have to worry and worry at her words until they become meaningless, searching for the things she’s not saying. I don’t have to distrust her expressions of feeling. I can’t even begin to tell you how important that is to me.

We sat together in silence for hours. Exchanging ocasional words, laughter, but mostly just being. She didn’t expect more than I was able to give. She didn’t offer more than I was able to take. She fit effortlessly into my established routines. We had sunshine, and we had cold, and we had bad movies and ice cream and picnics and late nights, and everything was wonderful. I was so afraid, but the first day she spent here we sat in my room and talked for hours and that was all it took. She patiently untangled my hopelessly tangled mass of necklace chains and, come on, do I need to spell this symbolism out for you?

Our temperaments are very similar, sometimes too similar, they crash against one another and sustain minor damage, but we always end up okay. We’re both a little difficult with regard to intimacy, whether romantic or platonic, we both feel a lot for and need a lot from the people we love, we both have a hard time verbalizing those feelings and needs and believing we deserve to have them honored. We separate sometimes, but inevitably find our way back together again because no one knows our siren songs like we do.

Often, I feel like my words aren’t saying what I want them to say, and I think that’s because, often, what I want to say is simpler than the words I use to say it. What I want to say is I love you, as vast as the salt sea, as bright as the moon, to me you are like breathing, you’re like food. What I want to say is I’m crossing all my fingers and making all my 11:11 wishes for seven, eight, nine more years of friendship to chart the as yet uncharted waters. What I want to say is I solemnly swear to be faithful to my bosom friend, as long as the sun and moon shall endure.

what I want to say is happy birthday, kindredest spirit, my Diana, the mermaid to my unicorn. I’m so indescribably glad you exist. Happy birthday, favorite girl.

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