Social Lite

Image: Christa Wittmier


Since school I’ve had 20 new best friends, one at a time.

It’s so serendipitous that I randomly mentioned out The Wave last week. But wait; let me back up a second.

I have a weird way of socializing. What happens is I meet one person I connect with and we become inseparable. Everything else in the world dissolves and my new world revolves around him or her. That person becomes the only one for me. Sometimes this person is a significant other but more often it’s a platonic thing. Friend love. When I’m not at work, I’m with him. When I’m not at my house, I’m at her house. We can talk for hours at lunch then talk for hours over cocktails then talk for hours online, all in the same day. You unravel your past to them, they tell you their dreams for the future and you reveal the things you normally wouldn’t tell anyone. It’s your new best friend.

A lot of people tend to have bigger groups of friends than I’m used to. I can only focus my attention and energy on one person, my partner in crime, and we are joined at the hip for a year or two. It could be because I used to drive a two-seater car, but it’s probably because of my military background. That was 11 years of people transitioning in and out of each other’s lives. It was a huge people aquarium with all sorts of people-sealife swimming by. Some had sharp fins and no teeth, some had smooth skin and sharp teeth, some were not even swimming but just floating there, and some were just like you. At any given point though, they were all bundled in a net and taken from your world.

It forced me to learn how to not get too attached and to run solo or at the most, with just one other. My psyche has become conditioned to this and since school I’ve had 20 new best friends, one at a time. You get super close then drift apart. Not too far though, it’s a natural progression–usually because someone gets married, which is what happened to one of my oldest partners in crime Maleko, and who I was thinking about when I started writing this to begin with.

I bumped into him making rounds at the Chinatown Get Down and we both started drunkenly gushing over the photo albums he recently posted on Facebook from 2005 that I had left on his computer back when we were in friend love. There were hundreds of party pics from back when The Wave was our Chinatown. All those memories came rushing back. The images captured a time now long past. Everyone was so skinny and happy and crazy. Holding on to times like that is exactly why I do []

I remember photographer Aaron Van Bokhoven recently said Hawaii needs a club/bar that does not allow cameras. While I understood where he was coming from (with all the flashing lights I had to make a conscious effort not to slouch at a recent Shake & Pop because those images were definitely going on the Internet), I’m still glad someone is capturing these moments.

I hope we don’t ever go backward in that sense. It’s too awesome the way it is now.

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