Sitting on the Luas one afternoon opposite a former best friend of mine and both of us pretending not to notice one another, despite it being blatantly obvious that we have, it dawned on me that Gotye got it spot on with his one-time catchy break-up song.
Whether you love it or hate it (and let’s face of it, most of us now hate it because it was criminally overplayed), Somebody That I Used To Know is a song that applies to pretty much everyone. The details may change on a case by case basis – it may not be a girlfriend/boyfriend split, rather two close friends going their separate ways, but we’ve all experienced the emotions or will experience them at some point in our futures, because on this winding road that we call life, we’ll lose good friends along the way. Friendships we once believed to be unbreakable.
If someone had told me and my former BFF eight years ago that one day we’d be pretending not to recognise each other on what turned out to be the most depressing Luas journey of my life, we would have laughed in their face. Back then we were inseperable, spending more time with each other than we did with our significant others.
We were pretty much chalk and cheese – a guy and a girl with very little in common and conflicting personalities, brought together in the first place through mutual friends, but it worked, we clicked, and to this day I’ve yet to meet a friend I’ve felt closer to.
Then it all came crashing down. A friendship undone by one wayward text message. A message sent to the person the text was about. Innocent enough if it had gone to the desired recipient, but out of context a text message that would tear through the strongest foundations and destroy the most solid of friendships.
It was a soul-destroying experience that would cause me the greatest of difficulties getting close to anyone again in the future. Our world’s came crashing down around us. The incident of the text message was eventually forgiven but indeed not forgotten as The Corrs would say, and the damage had been well and truly done. Text messaging and phone calls were stopped immediately, then after awhile we stopped seeing each other, with both of us leading our separate lives and growing apart.
Then of course there was the Facebook Unfriending. The unneccassary final blow. The ultimate Cut Off…
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
Over time of course, the wounds healed and both of us got on with our lives as the years went by. Every now and again it crossed my mind that one day we may reconcile and let bygones be bygones, but when we momentarily locked eyes on the Luas that day, it was clear that there would be no reconcilation, not even a nod of recognition. To the other passengers we were nothing more than complete strangers. The emotions and memories came flooding back as the Luas trucked along stop by stop, but by the journey’s end it was clear that Gotye was spot on and that now they were just Somedody That I Used To Know…