It's Time to Move On

It's Time to Move On

Do you have that typical best friend? The kind that you could confide in, call when you have something important on your mind, or happily join for a nice, casual day out of the house?

Well, lucky you . . . my best friend is a total jerk.

Grant and I have known each other for six years. We met when I started working at Grand Slam, a small arcade near my house in Philadelphia. Grant was one of the employees.

One of the most annoying ones, too.

We bonded quickly nonetheless, since we were two of the youngest workers there. While the college-age employees would laugh and converse with each other like normal human beings, Grant and I would steal game tokens and play against each other on the racing games. We would get personal as we tried to ram the other person’s car into oblivion, in the hopes that they could get last place. Winning wasn’t the goal - making the other person lose gave us joy.

Air hockey was no different. Comments about the other person’s mother were uttered - no, yelled - when one lost the game. And the winner would showboat their success by any means necessary. One time, I hopped on top of the air hockey table and did the Tarzan call, so everyone in the building knew that I triumphed over my inferior best friend.

We also played Monopoly. It never ended well.

The summer before my freshman year of college, Grant came to live with me. To be vague, his family situation was at a crossroads, and he needed a friend to be there for him.

We shared a bedroom. My bedroom. He slept on a mattress on the floor while I slept on my bed. I gave him my room, I wasn’t going to give him my bed.

Living with Grant was tumultuous. He has the comedic skills of Robin Williams, but the mediation skills of Donald Trump. Many days we spent laughing together about nondescript teenage guy things. And most nights we spent fighting each other over things that ten year-olds would scoff at. I was appeased when Grant moved out at the end of the summer, and brought his childish antics with him.

Courtesy of South Park Studios

And all of a sudden, everything became boring. It got better when I left for college and made new friends. Grant and I kept in touch, but let each other enjoy their own experiences at school. The following summer, we picked up where we left off: same story, same ending.

This past spring, Grant’s family situation was at a crossroads again. While I was away at college, my family offered to house him, like before. This time, his stay would be indefinite. He took my room, and since I wasn’t there to claim my bed, he took that as well. He didn’t keep my room clean. Sometimes he would leave food lying around, because he’s a complete slob.

Since I’ve been spending my summer in D.C., my best friend has been a value substitute for me in my household. He spends time with my little brother, just like I do. He helps my parents clean and take care of the yard, just like I do. He watches the Philadelphia Phillies play some nights with my dad, just like I do.

He also sleeps in my bed, just like I used to do.

It’s definitely weird for me to continue my life in D.C. knowing that my friend has taken my place back home. One would usually assume that their family is missing the (hopefully) valuable seat that used to be filled by yours truly. But everything is progressing like normal, thanks to Grant.

What this teaches me is that, as much as it may hurt for me to realize it, this summertime experience in D.C. signifies something between me and my family: it’s time for me to move on. Grant is merely the substitute that will ease the transition.

He’s doing for me what my family is doing for him: move on.

As much as I hate him sometimes, Grant is my best friend. He provides an outlet for me that nobody else could give. He’s the one person with whom I could release all emotions and inhibitions. Nobody knows me like he does, and nobody knows him like I do.

That’s why I can’t wait to go home and hang out with my best friend. Maybe we’ll fight about who’s better at Mario Kart. I know I am.

Read Peter's previous blog posts

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