It has been a strange week.
I've been sick all week. But more importantly, I'm sad and angry at losing my best friend Dan. Longtime readers will remember many mentions of Dan woven throughout this blog. I met Dan when living in the same dorm in college. After graduation, we both worked at Microsoft. Later, he referred me to Google. We've been friends for half my lifetime. We supported each other through work crises, family drama, and countless relationship ups and downs. When my relative was ill, Dan helped me google for medical information.
Years ago, as a game, we predicted the likelihood that we would remain friends until our dying day. I said 97%. Dan said 100%.
How quickly times can change. If you'd told me last year that in 2010, Dan and I would stop being friends, I would've laughed at the absurdity. And yet it has come to pass. (If you're wondering, it is not because one of us became romantically interested in the other. It has always been platonic. It's also not because we got into an argument.)
I've accepted the facts ("God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change"), but every once in a while, something funny or thought-provoking happens and I wonder what Dan would say. Then I become angry. You only get a few chances to make a lifelong friend. Why must a good and rare thing be thrown away?
My brother was shocked when I told him. "But you and Dan have been friends for a bajillion years," he said. I realized that Tom was only a child when I met Dan. For as long as he can remember, Dan and I have been friends.
No matter what happens, I think both of us will always feel lucky for the times that we shared. One of my fond memories occurred last spring, before all this happened. Dan and I were sitting around his living room, chatting while both using our computers.
Me: "Frank confides a surprising amount to me. He must not have a lot of confidantes."
Me: "Who do you confide in? I guess mainly me. Who did you confide in before me?"
Dan: [looking at monitor] "There was a time before you?"