...it trips me back to high school, where I'd do the same thing with my best friend then. We'd hang out on the college campus and he'd play video games and I'd stand behind him and watch, and we were content to abide in silence together. ...My high school best friend never really let on that he even noticed me standing there, but when I left briefly to use the bathroom or something, he'd do a lot worse and be glad when I returned. I was his luck. I was his self-esteem. I was his cheering squad. I was his best friend. I was his right hand. He was my middle finger.
...My current best guyfriend isn't my middle finger. There's a lot more mutual respect. He still likes to play video games, though, and we can spend hours on the phone with him summarizing anime to me. Occasionally we talk about the big things. Most of the time we don't. We save that for the unspoken. When I come to him with panic in my eyes, shaking and stuttering, he asks me what's wrong, tells me that no matter what I'm saying, I'm still not OK, and that I can't get away with doing this to myself, and if I keep it up he's going to kick some butt. Then he cracks sick jokes at me until I crack and start giggling, and then he goes off on a tangent about a passion of his that I've got at least a semblance of an interest in.
...Sometimes I don't even listen, I just sit there, hearing the sound of his voice and knowing that it's all going to be OK. I have friends now, friends who I can talk to when they need me, friends who will sit with me and rehash inane plotlines and stupid jokes from cartoons I've never seen, and as long as we stick together we're going to be OK.
I love you, my friend. As Heinlein put it, there's philos, eros, and agape. Friends, lovers, and religiously-oriented stuff. Love involving the mind, love involving the body, and love involving the soul. I've had lots of philos and eros in my past, but precious few agape.
Eros is irrelevant.
...well, not totally irrelevant. It's a definite possible undercurrent here, and it's definitely important otherwise; quite a bit of my friendship with David involves quite a lot of eros [soofgb/soofbb] ... but it's not the be-all and end-all, and it's something that I could choose to live without, though I might not like it so much. I could survive, though. I've got batteries and a damn good imagination ... and most precious of all, memories. Philos and agape ... I've lived for too long without them, and those ... lack of those is not survivable.
...My fiance was philos and eros, not agape. ...That just doesn't work in a long-term relationship. Not at all.
So, my dearest friend, I love you. Strictly hands-off. It's one of those things that rarely needs to be said, but possibly should be said more often.
It's a shame that the English language has so few accurate words describing the different types of love. "I love you" doesn't mean "I have sexual lust for you and want to marry you." Generally, when I feel philos and agape for someone, eros follows naturally if I happen to find that person at all sexually attractive. I'm probably polyamourous by nature. But if the philos and agape I feel is strong enough, it will crowd out the eros almost completely, making it just an afterthought, though occasionally a quite notable one.
I love you. But I respect you too much to ever say that to you in the foreseeable future.
I'm online. I'm semi-anonymous due to the fact that the link that existed from the one place no longer exists -- the chain was broken, the relationships window revised -- I'm safe. Sort of.
...For all I know, my friend reads this every day. I'm not sure whether I hope not or I hope so. If he reads it, does he know who he is? He ought to. I paint him clearly with every word. I'm a writer by choice, and a writer by nature. I'm hoping also that the him who I see and admire so very much is something close to the *reality* that *is* him. My perceptions, your perceptions. How does he perceive me? Do I really want to know?