Eric and I have known each other for nine years now. Or something like that. Neither of us can remember the exact number. We met at the NWT, back in the paracrap chatroom, when I was a permanent fixture there, and he was the obnoxious newbie. I remember that he made me laugh, but I also remember Kyle saying something along the lines of "YOU MY WOMAN. YOU NO TALK TO HIM."
OK, it wasn't that bad. But it's always fun to take a jab at your ex.
Anyway, he and I became friends, and then I vanished from the internet community for a while. There were one or two people I stayed in contact with through that time, but for one reason or another, Eric wasn't one of them. I was nursing a broken heart, followed closely by freaking out over a brain tumor, and then nursing another broken heart after that. For some crazy reason, I just didn't feel much like jumping back into the NWT/SL scene during that time.
But then, about half way through my time at college, I decided that it might be fun to look up some old friends. At that time I got his blog address from Heather, left him a random comment, and then the next thing I knew, we picked right up where we'd left off.
Anyway, that's how I know him. Now onto why we're friends.
Eric is part of the reason I'm convinced that I attract "strong personality" people to myself. And I gotta say, I kinda like it. I have never met anyone who enjoys expressing their opinion more than Eric enjoys it. If he has a problem with you, he'll tell you to your face. And what I love is, if you have a problem with him, you'd better have the spine to tell him to his face and the wits to engage in a full-on debate, or else your opinion is so worthless that he could care less what you think. I think our mutual intolerance of passive aggressive people is one of the many reasons we get along so well. There's something so brutally honest about him, so straightforward and unabashed, and I really respect that.
He still makes me laugh. His witty, sarcastic, sometimes rather morbid sense of humor just cracks me up. He's someone that I can joke around with, and a significant number of our conversations consist of nothing more than mutual teasing. I can safely say that he's the only friend with whom I've had conversations that have dissolved into "YOU SUCK" "YOUR FACE SUCKS" wars.
But our friendship is more than a mutual bashing of spineless people and random insults. Eric and I have known each other long enough that we've reached this level of comfort with one another where I know, if I want, I can talk to him about just about anything. And even though neither of us has ever voiced it, I know that our friendship is significant enough that if something is bothering me and I need to vent about it, he'll do more than just listen. He'll actually care.
I don't want this to sound overly sentimental or sappy, because that's not fitting for our friendship. And I don't mean that in a negative way. It's simply the truth. It's not like we ever sit around and discuss this stuff. It's just true, and we both know it. I think it's safe to say that after several years of being friends, we've reached a point where, at least to a certain degree, we see through each other. Again, not in a negative way. I think we both like to think we're somewhat mysterious, and that we keep most people at arms length, and somehow in attempting to keep that going (albeit in very different ways) we've recognized that about each other and come to a mutual understanding.
Plus, it's because of Eric that I can read l337, and he acknowledges my mad writing skills. Everyone needs friends like that ;)