Just one last time. I decided to just do one more search. And there, after five or six years of random failed attempts to see if my best friend from culinary school was on Facebook, suddenly, there he was, out of the blue, at the top of the list.
For the two years that we went to school, we were always together. He picked me up as my apartment was halfway between his house and school. We would talk constantly for the 30 minute drive, and then were together all through the day. We ate breakfast and lunch together and then in the afternoon he would drop me home, talking all the way back.
We just clicked from the instant we met. In no time at all, we could talk to each other about anything, and other than my wife, that is the easiest I have ever been around another person. My friendship with Jay was a “once in a lifetime” relationship.
After we graduated, Jay moved to the south and got married to the girl that he was seeing when we were in school. I couldn’t make it to his wedding. At that time, I just started a new job and couldn’t get the time off. At the time he said he understood, but after that, he became increasingly distant and eventually our communications were mostly only from me. Eventually my attempts to keep up our communication dwindled and I lost touch with him a couple of years later.
Occasionaly he would cross my mind and I would look him up on Facebook. Each time I would hit a wall because apparently he had one of the most common first and last name combinations on the planet. There would be hundreds of matches, but none on the first few pages listed was him.
Now I sat in front of my computer and there in front of me was my old friend, my confidant, my brother from another family. I was about to hit “Add a friend” but decided to just do a quick look through of his profile. He didn’t have his privacy setting to make his profile private and I scrolled down his page to see post after post. He had aged. He was ten years my junior but now he looked ten years my senior. His face bore the marks of a weathered life. His kids were now teenagers, he divorced and remarried and he had been on facebook since 2013.
At first I was really confused because I did searches probably once a year or so and he never came up on the list. I assumed he was either not on Facebook or was number 7000 on the list of men with the exact same names. Then I realized that the reason his name popped up on the list all of a sudden was that he was now using his nick name in addition to his given name on his profile. So that narrowed it down from the thousands to just, well, him.
Then it hit me. He was on Facebook since 2013! I couldn’t find him, but he obviously never tried to find me. I am one of only four people named Basil Rene on facebook. Do a search for me and I am the first name that pops up. So that meant he never looked for me, or if he did, he never bothered to friend me. That was, well, enlightening.
His girlfriend would tell him that his Dad was on the phone when ever I called. Maybe there was truth in her sarcasm. Maybe that is why we bonded so well. He was ten years my junior and he had a bad relationship with his father, who, like my own father, was an alcoholic. Was I his surrogate dad? And maybe he was the replacement for my younger half brother I never had a relationship with. What ever the reason, our friendship worked, but it was only meant to be for that time.
This morning I was sucessful in finally finding a long lost friend and in an instant, realized that in finding him, he is now just someone that I used to know.