About five or six years ago, when xanga was the way of the world, I randomly stumbled upon the page of a 17ish year old guy from Missouri by the name of Andrew. I was slightly captivated by his particularly well-written accounts and cryptic, artsy snapshots of random happenings of his life. It was through Andrew’s xanga that I came across a group devoted to his close-knit group of friends; about 6 or 7 people of the same age- Andrew’s sexy, artsy, intellectual girlfriend, a few of his equally as interesting guy-friends and their almost-as-sexy girlfriends. The group was based on the traditional “movie night” they all gathered for every week or so. They each had their own, individual styles that all seemed to culminate seamlessly to form this group of cool ass people. They did nothing spectacular or really out of the ordinary- but to me they were just fucking cool; plain and simple. They were like that group of friends from one of those teenage drama series that all conveniently lived walking distance from one another and did average things which seemed much more fun than they probably actually were. The guys wore skinny jeans before you could really find skinny jeans for guys in every store. Some of the girls sported short pixie-cuts while Rihanna was still singing music of the sun and not being a good girl going bad. They drank occasionally, smoked casually, dressed smartly, and, apparently, hosted weekly movie nights. They did pretty much everything (and then some) everyone of that age does today, only they were doing it five or six years ago. And they weren’t obnoxious or blatant about anything. Everything they did seemed organic and effortless. In a way they were what we refer to now as hipsters, only back then hipster wasn’t synonymous with trying hard to be cool. And amidst their coolness- proclaimed by myself, of course- they were all actually very intelligent. They all possessed very natural, subtle writing skills, and their general opinions and views on life were delivered gracefully and not chock-full-o-shit.
I found myself tuning in to the lives of the movie night members pretty consistently through xanga. Some may say I was cyber-stalking them, and that was because I was, in fact, cyber-stalking them. But it was completely harmless. It’s not as if I was planning to load up my horse & buggy and venture out to the Midwest in hopes of being initiated into movie night. I guess I was living vicariously through their postings of after school antics and polaroids from house parties. Being 14ish years old at the time, this was how I hoped my years as a young-adult to play out. I wanted to fall into a group hip, stylish friends with whom I had ridiculously great chemistry. I wanted to host movie nights, smoke and drink casually, and have interesting yet not-so-interesting life experiences to talk about on my xanga. In retrospect, I did pretty much exactly that.
The point of this story is not to be an unauthorized biography of Andrew and friends. As a few years passed, and as I started to acquire an actual social life of my own, I began keeping fewer and fewer tabs on the movie night members until I eventually forgot about them completely. A few years after that, Andrew’s xanga name randomly popped into my head (it was “todaysrandomluckywinner” so it was a bit hard to forget) and I decided to take a peek and see how my old group of stranger-friends were doing. It was then I discovered that basically none of them were in touch anymore. All the guys went off to different colleges and Andrew and his sexy, artsy, pixie-haired girlfriend- whom I believe were the main basis of the group- broke up. Of course, it could have been that they had all just abandoned xanga- as did the rest of the world- and migrated to myspace, and then facebook. But what really led me to assume that movie night was no more was exactly that- the actual movie night group was gone. All of Andrew’s other xanga groups remained but that one. It brought a short but oddly intense moment of sadness, to see that such a well-woven group of friends eventually unraveled just as naturally and effortlessly as it was held together.
That’s when I realized that this is what happens- it happened to me to some extent, and I’m sure to millions of other movie night groups in the universe. I think life, and friendships, work in phases. If you’re lucky, you’ll have those few relationships that truly last forever. But, with everyone else, no matter how well your unique, individual styles blend together, the strands eventually unwind. Every strand needs to hang freely for moments at a time. Every person needs the time to cultivate their own selves before they find, or re-find people with whom they blend with well, or even better than before. Then they unravel, hang freely, and then reconnect again.
Right now I think I’m in the hanging-free stage. I’ve gradually lost touch with people I was in constant contact with just a year or so ago. Of course there are still great people in my life, but as of late I seem to keep mainly to myself. It’s all an unconscious cycle of sorts. So far it’s been the story of my life; story of movie group's life. Though I’m sure in due time I’ll have different stories to write.