I fell in love with the monster (strictly platonic; monsters aren’t my type) from Zara Larsson’s video for “Never Forget You.”
Since seeing the video last year, he/she has stayed in my mind. I’ll go with “he” for some reason. On a recent drive to see Laura’s mom, I brought up what Frankie (now he’s got a name) means to me for the hundredth time. I closed my eyes and imagined finding him on my run and waiting for me on subsequent runs. Always in the same spot, beside the first bridge I cross on the greenway. Between the flowers and the creek.
I imagined moving away and coming back years later. Going on a nostalgic run, seeing what’s changed in the city and around the park. As I leave the neighborhood and come around the corner, I see Frankie beside the bridge. But instead of joy I’m heartbroken. A knot tangles in my stomach as I think of how long he’s waited for me. Every day? I can’t fathom waiting for someone that long. Each day not knowing when or if they’ll be back. There were no goodbyes. Frankie doesn’t own a phone. I don’t even know where he lives. We’ve only seen each other on the greenway.
I slowed down the first time I saw him. Took my earbuds out, letting them dangle down my chest. We looked each other in the eye and nodded. “Let’s do this together.” Frankie never judged me or held my faults against me. He’s got shit going on in his life too. The only thing we really know about each other is that the other is pure of heart.
I opened my eyes as we drove past the spot where the greenway runs parallel to the highway. Craning my neck, I could just see around the bend to the side of the bridge opposite where Frankie meets me.
I fell in love with Frankie and lost him on the same trip. I want to meet him so badly. I know I never will, but I’ve pictured our meeting so many times, it’s real enough to make me long for it.
Monsters aren’t real, but some things may as well be given the name. Maybe Frankie is a metaphor for my depression. That’s the only rational idea I can offer. But I see Frankie as a positive. It kind of makes sense though. The chemical imbalance that causes my depression will always be part of my life. Maybe Frankie represents self-love. For all the negatives depression, and to a lesser extent OCD and anxiety, has brought to my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am without it. I wouldn’t have the same sense of humor. I wouldn’t go on ridiculous tangents about inconsequential ideas, forgetting along the way why I brought them up, leaving us in fits of laughter.
If you have a friend like Frankie, you probably think they’re amazing and awesome and life would be less bearable without them. Whenever you’re feeling down and your confidence is waning, ask yourself: If [insert your Frankie’s name] is so amazing and awesome, why are they my friend? Because you’re equally awesome and amazing, maybe slightly more than they are.
If you don’t have a friend like Frankie, find one and cherish them. Better yet, be someone else’s Frankie.
Physical monsters aren’t real, but that doesn’t stop me from speeding up as I approach the bridge.