December 1999

A little while ago, a friend and I were on the phone trying to plan a get-together for a group of our friends from a few summers ago.  Needless to say, our weak planning efforts to reunite people from all over the county failed, and the get-together never happened.  What did happen, however, was that I finally really got to know someone who had been my friend for years.

We were dividing up people to call, and I naturally asked her if she wanted to call the girl who she had been closest to that summer, figuring it would be easy for her to reconnect with this girl whom I hadn’t talked to since.  She told me that she couldn’t, that she and the other girl had had a falling out of sorts and hadn’t been on speaking terms for months.

“What was the fight about?” I asked casually, assuming she would launch into some story about the guy that came between them.  I was hardly paying attention as she made me promise not to think poorly of her or tell anyone what had happened.  (Yes, I do have her permission to tell this story, keeping her anonymous.)

“We went out.”

My first thought was “Went out with who?” until I realized exactly what she had just told me.  Thousands of different things went through my head in that moment, but all had the underlying feelings of shock and curiosity.

I made a point of telling her that I was in no way homophobic, but that I simply wanted to know more about her story.  She said that, within reason, she’d tell me anything I wanted to know, and for the next few hours, I pelted her with questions.  By the end of what was supposed to be a short conversation, I had asked her for the details of her relationship: how they first got together, the ups and downs of the relationship, how they broke up, and what happened thereafter.  I felt like I was talking to one of my friends about an ex-boyfriend, only in this case, it was an ex-girlfriend.

Now my friend and I have an inside understanding that most of our group doesn’t know about.  She points out her current crush to me, another girl we both know, and I smile when she goes over to talk to her.  I don’t think of her any differently, except that I feel closer to her than I did in all the first years that we were “friends.”

Whoever said that curiosity killed the cat was quite mistaken.  My curiosity did not kill me at all, but rather gave me a wider perspective on life.  I don’t look down on my friend at all for her lifestyle; instead I thank her for taking the time to satisfy my curiosity and make me less ignorant.

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