“I see in them little details so specific to each of them that move me and that I miss, and…will always miss.” —Celine, Before Sunset
One of my dear friends joined Facebook a few weeks ago; which meant I had to go back and find photos that she was in, and tag her. There’s one picture taken 4 years ago featuring the two of us and a girl we were friends with at the time; we’re making funny faces and you can tell we’re having a blast. Over the past few years since the photo was taken, the girl and I had a spectacular falling out and haven’t spoken in over a year. I think their friendship is at a delicate stage, but I’m not sure to what extent. My friend told me that she doubted the three of us would ever be able to take a picture like that again. Some days I think about messaging the girl and saying that I wish we could go back to that time, where everything was natural and it seemed like we all cared about each other. Knowing how she is as a person, I doubt it would mean much. Where do you go after saying something like that? I wonder about all the words hanging in the air.
So many things go unsaid. There’s that one sentence that if I had said, maybe things would be different now. There are a whole lot of sentences I should have said to various people. I should probably still say them. They aren’t necessarily “I love you,” or “I miss you.” Sometimes they’re along the lines of “we’re not so different,” or “I would like your advice,” or “I know about the things you don’t say, but I’m okay with them.”
I’ve been thinking about the film, Before Sunset. Over the past few years that movie has connected me to so many people, and seeing it made me wonder about what happens to all those unsaid things. I think they add up to the moments and things you miss about a person. The reason you didn’t ask your million dollar question, was because you got caught up in them blowing smoke rings. Or maybe because you knew that last car ride should be a happy one, and that for just one minute you really could be close while jamming out to Josie Cotton. Would those moments have happened had they not been a smoker? What if they had put on some lame-o music instead?
In Before Sunset, Celine talks about how “you can never replace anyone, because everyone is made of such beautiful specific details.” I wonder if my former friend would care about all the details I miss about her: like the time we stole cake from the neighbor boys, or the nights I’d paint violet and silver eyeshadow on her eyes. There’s one moment, and maybe it shouldn’t matter much, but I had been crying to another friend when she walked in the room. I hate crying in front of people so I tried to compose myself; she sat down in front of me and said “I know.” That was it, we didn’t need to talk about what was bothering me. It was something so simple that still means so much to me.
There are tiny elements that represent every person I’ve ever felt connected to. Some are a collection of things that I could spend hours trying to capture on paper. Others, maybe one specific item or moment that defines who they are, what we are…or were. Like Celine, I am obsessed with details, but I’m also curious about whether or not people care about what they are. Sometimes I just want to say, “wouldn’t you like to know the details I miss about you?”