My friendship with Thomas Steinbeck, the son of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, was happily platonic. We were so close that we were almost like siblings, sharing in our joys, fears, and creative endeavors. Our love was unconditional, but we never crossed the line into intimacy.
Thomas and I adored one another’s company. We were happy together. We laughed together. At times, we were possessive over our company for one another, and when not together we knew telepathically what the other was feeling. In a sense, we were like one another’s “life-preserver,” and after his passing, I felt as if I was drowning in sorrow. He was my anchor to my creative voice. Together, we both turned pain into art, he through fiction, and me through poetry and memoir. Losing him and our platonic relationship was akin to losing a close family member.
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References Blackstone, J. (2002). Living Intimately. London, UK: Watkins Publishing. Matousek, M. (2013). “The eros of friendship: What to do with platonic passion?” Psychology Today. May 12.
Written by: Diana Raab, MFA, Ph.D Originally appeared on:Psychology Today Republished with permission