It's funny how kids talk about "forever" like it means something. "I've wanted to be a dancer forever." "We've been waiting in this line for for-EVER." "We'll be friends forever." It's funny, in a not-funny-at-all sort of way, that a word that ought to mean so much means so little.
My friends always said they'd stand by me, no matter what I did, no matter who I was. And I believed them, of course; after all, I'd do it for them, and wasn't I a good enough judge of character to only do something like that for people who'd reciprocate? Of course, in the end, it wasn't really who I was that drove them away, so maybe they used that as their out.
I met this guy, and he was fantastic -- sweet, caring, attractive, funny, everything wonderful you could think of. It wasn't until after we started dating that I met his drug habit, and by then I'd already fallen for him. It was okay at first, or at least I told myself it was; when he was high, he was almost totally unresponsive, but that was only like an hour or two -- or maybe three -- a day. But my friends didn't see it that way. They'd come over, and be like, "What do you see in this guy? He just slouches on the couch and stares at the TV -- and if you turn it off, he just stares into space. He's a zero. He's practically braindead."
And I couldn't even really argue with them, because he'd be in the room at the time, and he wouldn't defend himself. Sometimes, he wouldn't even bother to turn his head to acknowledge that anyone was talking. But I loved him, and so I stood by him, and slowly my friends stopped coming to visit, and then stopped calling, and I guess eventually just stopped being my friends.
I like to climb trees; that's normal, right? I like to play dice. I like to knit. I like to rollerskate. Everyone gets so hung up on me dating a zombie. Who I'm with is not who I am. And when I look into his vacant eyes, I see that he's not worried about missing friends, or much of anything, really. Ignorance is bliss, after all, and how can I tell him that he's wrong to seek that out?