On Platonic Love

To my endlessly wonderful friend, Lou... I know you’re just moving across town, but this note is long overdue. Thank you for 2+ years of laughter, hugs and late night s’mores. I love you endlessly.

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   **

Disco was the first thing we bonded over.

I still remember moving into our Astoria apartment in the fall of 2015, and hearing the faint vocals of Anita Ward spill out of your bedroom and into the kitchen. I never mentioned it to you though. In fact, I spent the first few weeks creeping around the apartment – worried of making too much noise or disturbing your routine. Yes, we shared a house. But in many ways, our lives were still separate. 

And then the new year rushed in, and I had my heart broken. Unexpectedly, my (now ex-) boyfriend announced that he was moving to Colorado. I was devastated. I thought it was meant to be (It wasn’t). I thought he was my human (He wasn’t).

I returned to our apartment later that night  – blindsided, defeated and my eyes red from all the crying. Immediately after I walked in and you saw my face, you stopped stirring your food and rushed over. Without hesitation, you wrapped your arms around me and tried your best to console me. 

"Marissa, as hard as it is to believe, there was a time in your life before him. You were happy then. You will be happy again."

You then took my hand and spun me out of your grasp – starting the first of what would soon become routine, nightly dance parties in the kitchen. There, over the bubbling and splattering of your meal prep, we danced together for the first time to the Bee Gees' "More Than A Woman".

As the song ended, I smiled. "This is happiness," I remember thinking.

**

Life with you was a dance. It was sashaying our way down the streets of Astoria, laughing about the absurdity of it all. It was putting the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack on repeat as we cleaned. It was staying in so you could teach me the choreography of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" music video. It was spontaneous road trips to Staten Island and Six Flags, while blasting '80s Hi-NRG dance floor tracks. It was the week after I got hit by a car and could hardly move because of the whiplash, and how - without hesitation - you propped me up on your shoulders so that we could dance to Cher.

Over and over again, you remind me (as you do so many others) that life isn't a battle to be fought, but an event to dance through and gift to be treasured. And for that, I love you. 

**

I know you would find this post melodramatic. But when you wake up to and end your day with the same person for more than two years, moving on isn't just saying goodbye to a person. It becomes an untangling of a collective existence, until you're left floating loose ends, and a little lost and a little scared of what's next. 

The last few weeks have been a lot of adjusting to a new chapter as I watched you pack up your belongings into boxes. A chapter that will be without some, but one that is still filled with so, so much. 

As it so often is in life, words fall short. Some things are easy to say - because they are what I have told you so many times before. That you are amazing. That finding you in the chaos of this world was one of the best things to ever happen to me. That you have changed me. That I deeply love you. 

But then there are things that are harder to find the words for. It's hard to imagine you leaving the place we have made "home" together. It's hard to express the intense combination of happiness I feel for you as you move in to your own place, and the excitement I feel for myself as I welcome a new roommate into our apartment. It's hard to tell you just how much your unconditional love and support has meant to me the past two years. 

In one of our late night chats, you described a feeling to me that I wish I had a name for: it's the feeling of looking forward, but without loss. And that is how I want to part ways with you as roommates. Without loss. The loss of impromptu fondue parties, of weekend Netflix binges, of mornings spent scheming up new adventures. These losses are so insignificant in comparison to everything I have gained from you. I part ways with you as a more patient, kind and resilient person. With a lifelong friend and unforgettable memories. With a deeper understanding of our world and the knowledge that I will never be able to express or repay all the gifts you have given me. Perhaps more importantly, I part ways with a heart full of love.

Thank you! Until the next goodbye.