Platonic Love

By Sheila J Sadr   Staff Writer

Sometimes, friendships start off a little complicated. 

There are points when you hardly remember how they started, or how they changed. Moments blur with each other and blend together until you look back and realize how much has changed, how much you’ve grown.

But then there are the friendships where you know exactly when and how it started. You remember very the moment you first saw them. Maybe you met them in an old poetry class or wasted at a party on a saturday night. Either way, the juncture sticks to you like gum at the bottom of your shoe. Maybe you even remember when it transformed, turned into something else entirely – for better or worse. 

For Nate Bussey, a post-grad Single Subject Credential Program student, friendships tend to take that route. For him, romance and friendship have crossed paths several times but, surprisingly enough, often have not failed him.

“All of the really platonic relationships [with womyn] for me... they started off dating,” said Nate.  “And then, they [we] lived together and then we’re fine.”

It’s an interesting path to friendship, to say the least, but Bussey believes it was imperative for him to go through. 

“One of the friends that has influenced me the most is one of those failed romantic relationship types,” said Nate. “Even when we broke up, we still paired up and lived together… She was good to have around – once I dealt with what I needed to deal with, in regards to it.”

When asked whether or not it was important to break down that physical tension in order to continue into a friendship, Nate gave a resounding yes.

“If you don’t do it, then you’re just screwing yourself. You’re just setting yourself up for a bad time. You’re setting yourself up for a lot of misery,” said Nate. “It is really important to get that disconnect at first.”

Nate describes his friend group as idyllic, in the collegiate sense. 

“They are the weirdest most incestuous group of hippies,” said Nate. But assures he “wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He explains how two of these peculiar relationships began within this hippie tribe. Because to Nate, friendships are about spending time with people who have something in common and that you enjoy being around, and romance is just “a few steps past the common ground.” 

That love goes a fraction beyond friendship and, as such, the two tend to mix and mismatch. To Nate, that’s okay. This kind of love to him is special. It intermingles. It expands. It openly breaks apart and rebuilds. This love within his friend group has even ended up saving Nate a couple times.

For example, Nate recalls a night among his friends that felt particularly treacherous. 

“There was a night when I thought I was going to die,” said Nate. “Because of various narcotics that were ingested, basically I spent 40 minutes face down in a toilet bowl having awful, not like hardcore hallucinations but definitely real impaired vision to the point where shapes were not like the shapes they should be.”

He felt dissociated and began what he describes as a “drug-induced panic attack.”

Toilet bowl in face, Nate contemplated what he believed was his inevitable end.

“I was just in there like ‘This is it. This is how I go. This is bad.’”

But his friends have always been there for him, even in this moment of complete drug-induced terror and dread, Nate could always reach ouch and a helping hand would be there.

“I can call and have a friend come and rub my back and tell me ‘you’re not gonna die, probably. You’re all right.’”

It is in this moment that Nate has a rather beautiful and cruel epiphany on friendship that many seldom have.

“And that was one of the biggest things too, right? Misery loves company. Just a little bit of solidarity. Like fuck man, what you’re dealing with right now is some bullshit but like you got this though.”

So, there he was. One minute face down where he thought he was going to die and then on a bed his friends moved him to; the next, about 10 minutes he says, he got up and made some joke, ate a breakfast burrito and headed off to bed.

And isn’t that the beauty of it?

That friendship brings you back. No matter the beginning (or, rather, the end in Nate’s case), friends bring you back to all the good. They remind you that everything is going to be okay and to simply enjoy the ride. That origin doesn’t necessarily matter but the journey and the present does.

That “some of the best friendships are the friendships that are complete and total accidents.” 


By Samantha Neou   Staff Writer

We like to think there’s a defining moment when two people realize there’s a deeper connection between them, but for Jess Kung and Jenna Cady, sometimes that just happens. 

Jess is a journalism major at California State University, Long Beach. They hardly watch movies, but play Nintendo DS games and enjoy cooking. They’re a tad awkward and cautious when it comes to making friends, comparing this experience to dipping their toe in water. 

Jenna on the other hand attends Pacific University in Portland as a music major with a minor in dance and theatre. They love horror films, musicals and baking. They’re social and “cannonball” into friendships, as Jess puts it. 

They both seem to be on opposite ends of the personality spectrum, with the odds stacked against them. Despite this, they’re still each other’s haven, texting and calling one another at one a.m.

“Jess is the only one who will always have my back,” said Jenna. “I can be gross at one a.m. and be like ‘hey Jess’ and they’ll be like ‘ayeee’. I don’t really have friends like that.” 

Jess and Jenna met at Adrian C. Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California in their freshman biology class. 

“I started high school trying to find the most isolated place I could and sitting alone until they [Jenna] were like, ‘what the fuck bro, sit with my group’,” said Jess. 

From then on out, they were friends. They joined marching band together, did a musical their senior year and went to prom in a group together. 

They remember the nights where they tried watching Netflix, spent time petting Jenna’s cats and when Jenna would fall asleep at Jess’ house while they played video games. 

“I’ve never relied on a person as much as I do on Jenna,” said Jess. “Even from a distance, it’s like I have someone that knows me. Like we’ve gone through some shit.”

High school friendships don’t usually translate well into college, but somehow Jess and Jenna did it. They’re often confused about how they became good friends, but the more they describe their relationship,  the more it becomes clear why.

“A lot of times it feels like we’re on the same wavelength,” said Jenna. “You can have the same interests as someone but then feel like you’re on a different frequency. But with Jess, even if we have the opposite interests, I’d be able to say something and Jess would kind of get it.”

“It’s like a trust fall,” said Jess. 

And they’re right. It has been a litany of trust falls for them since high school and they’re still catching each other to this day. It doesn’t matter how far apart their worlds are because of the mutual trust and  interest between them. The kind where one a.m. talks are normal. 

That’s friendship. That’s love. And sometimes it just happens.


By Wardah Imran   Staff Writer

For many, the relationship they share with their siblings is not one they’d immediately think of as a friendship, despite the intimate bond that often exists between brothers and sisters. 

CSULB senior Jayla Bradshaw has always said that her older sisters, Jenesa and Jillian, are her best friends in every sense. The closeness to her sisters formed at an early age, when her family hit difficult times. Indeed, the solace and understanding that forms between people as a result of shared experiences is an irreplaceable source of comfort. And with siblings, you’re never alone. 

“It was almost like we had to turn to each other, because we only had each other. In situations like that, your siblings are really the only people who can understand you because they’re going through what you’re going through at the same time,” said Jayla. “And if you want to talk about it, those are the people you can talk to.”

When it comes to other relationships, if we take different paths in life or even just get into an argument, that could very possibly be the end of it. But in the unconditional love that is family, fights and mishaps are frequent occurrences that require constant forgiveness.

“With sisters, you can get away with a lot more than with other friends. You can say sometimes hurtful things when necessary. It’s so much easier to fight and make up,” said Jayla. “Most of the time I don’t even have to say sorry. It’s like, we have to live with each other. So we just move on in an hour, or a day, or whatever.”

Bradshaw says that, in the same way that good friends do, her sisters provide her with endless support and encouragement—each of them in their own ways.

“My oldest sister, Jenesa, is super caring and always there for me. She recently became a real mom, but she’s been like a mom since day one,” said Jayla. “My other sister is caring in that she’s a shoulder to cry on. She’ll be like, ‘Do you need to cry? Let’s cry together.’”

Bradshaw wholeheartedly accepts that she doesn’t know what she would do without her sisters.

“I definitely rely on my parents financially, but if I’m ever stranded or something, I’d call my sisters first,” said Jayla.

It only takes a few minutes of talking with Bradshaw before it is clear that she and her sisters share a universe between them—one full of inside jokes, quirks only understood by each other, and years of companionship. 

Here is to siblings, our first and forever best friends.


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