I watched the last episode of Gravity Falls on Tuesday. (also, spoiler alert for the finale)
Gravity Falls, if you’re not aware, is a cartoon show of the kind that is so well-written and animated that a significant part of its viewers is made up of adults. Adventure Time is another show like that.
They’re fantastic. They show is cute, funny, with engaging storylines and, in the case of Gravity Falls in particular, with some gags and jokes that are definitely intended for an older audience.
So. Tuesday night, the finale. I was sat on my bed, excited to see how the show I’ve been following for the last 3 years would end. I even put off watching the Better Call Saul season premiere, that’s how excited I was for it.
It was good.
The resolution to the plot was satisfying, if not particularly excellent, but once the season arc was resolved, the episode took its time to give all of the characters a proper goodbye. It treated everyone with love and a bit of melancholy, and by the end of it I was crying.
Not that me crying says much; I cried over everything before starting hormones, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better since.
It hit me specially hard, though. I have a lot of trouble saying goodbye to things and people.
It’s pretty bad. Consider the fact that I still haven’t read the last two Discworld books, because I’m afraid of letting go of the world and Sir Terry Pratchett.
If that’s how I am with fictional characters, you can imagine how I am with real people that I care for.
I had a friend.
Well, I’ve had lots of friends. This one was special though. You know how there are some people you just ‘click’ with? Like, you have perfect chemistry in a platonic way, and you can do just about anything, and talk about any subject, and just enjoy yourself?
Yeah, I had that kind of friend. They’re great. Even if it was just walking a couple of blocks, meeting for tea, or talking on the phone, I usually enjoyed myself immensely.
It’s somewhat similar to drugs. When you’re under the influence of, say, LSD, everything gets a lot weirder and the whole world turns more interesting. With my friend alongside me, I could see a lot of things a different way, and mundane things were suddenly a ton more fun.
I’m not going to go into any detail because I want to respect their privacy, but for various reasons, we ended up going our separate ways, and haven’t spoken to each other in a number of months.
It has, to put it simply, sucked.
Most days I don’t think about it, but once every couple of weeks it’ll hit me all at once, and I’ll spend the whole day trying not to burst out crying in public.
What’s interesting is how it compares to similar situations.
In the same time period, I’ve lost the friendship of many other people. Some because of circumstance, some for more complicated reasons (mostly one Big Thing though-I’ll leave you to guess what it is)
There’s the person who I’ve been friends with since we were both little kids, who hasn’t even answered my messages I’ve sent in the last few months.
There’s the people who seem to consider me Lord Voldemort (She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named), and the ones who apparently crossed over timelines from a universe where I’d died, leaving them unable to acknowledge my existence.
It’s not all contentious, there’s people who have just become more distant as a natural consequence of several things.
As lonely as I feel most days as a result, I don’t really get too upset over it. I still miss them and sometimes feel sad we’re not friends or we’re not as close, but it’s nowhere as bad as it is with with the friend I talked about earlier.
I wonder why.
I wrote the introduction to this post on Wednesday morning, when the melancholy of the Gravity Falls episode was still fresh. It’s Friday morning now, and I don’t feel that emotional about it anymore. I don’t doubt if I re-watch it I’ll break down in tears again, but it won’t last.
I suspect that’s part of why the end of that friendship is the only one that hurts so much. The end of Gravity Falls made sense. It was a good time for it to end, and I knew it was coming.
I had a similar situation with some of my other friends.
I could tell some of them wouldn’t continue to be my friends after my transition, and I prepared myself for that.
The ones who have become more distant have done so for reasons I can understand, and that helps.
If you know me, you won’t be surprised to hear me say I look at life the same way I look at books.
I’ve had friendships end in a way that taught me lessons and made me a better person. It made sense for them to end, as it allowed me personal growth.
Of course certain friends would distance themselves with time. People grow up, things change, and some friendships will just remain in the past.
There is no story without struggle or difficulties, so with that frame I could accept that people distanced themselves from me because I dared to be happy. It was all part of the story.
The narrative I’d accepted for that friend wrote them as one of the few people that would stay friends with me regardless, and as someone I was too close to for the friendship to end suddenly.
When the friendship ended then, I was caught wrong-footed. It wasn’t the right time, it didn’t make sense. I was unable to understand or rationalise it. It just… happened.
Maybe that’s the reason it hurts so much; I can’t fit it into a tidy little narrative, and it doesn’t ‘make sense.’
Or maybe they are just really great and I miss having them in my life.
If by some random chance you happen to read this, I hope you don’t mind. Every few weeks I suddenly remember and it hurts all over again, and after all this time, the pain hasn’t gotten any better. Writing helps, and I feel a little better for typing out this post.
To everyone else, this post was a lot more personal than my posts usually are; I hope it made for interesting reading.