"Best friend" is a complicated term for most people, and I'm no exception. I prefer to talk about my best friends, but probably the person who makes the most sense to label "best friend" is of course Meghan, who is both the only one of my closest-friend trio who is female and the one I've known the longest.
We've known each other since 1994. We just celebrated twenty years of friendship.
Neither of us had many female friends growing up, and from what she told me later, she was prepared to hate me when she first saw me. That obviously changed when she found out more about who I actually was. :) Her daughter's middle name is the same as my first and her son still calls me "Aunt JuJu." I'm often included on their family vacations and I was maid of honor at her wedding. We used to give each other mix tapes and have tons of special symbolic songs. We're different from each other in a lot of ways, but there's something in the kernel of our being that matches. Being friends with Meghan is less like forming a relationship and more like recognizing a part of yourself in the other. She lives in another Florida city and it's several hours by car to travel there, so we don't get to see each other incredibly regularly, but she makes it a point to stop by when she can if she's in town visiting family or driving her daughter to her dad's, and we bake and talk and enjoy music and talk about books and people and be silly. She's a nurse, a nerd, a smarty, a great cook, a fast reader, a talented musician, and an awesome mom.
My other best friends are Victor and Jeaux. I've known Victor since 1996. We met on MuMu Land, a telnet talker from the dawn of the Internet, when he asked a silly question about my hair. I think Victor and I are the most different from each other out of the trio, but even some of the ways we differ have elements of similarity in them (like, we might hate the same thing for different reasons, or both be excluded from something but for opposite reasons, or make different mistakes based on the same assumption).
I've known Jeaux since 2000. We met through AIM, the Instant Messenger program, when he found my profile that mentioned liking The Tick and saw I like to write. Jeaux and I have very similar interests and very similar outlooks on life, and even though we are frequently each other's "person" for things you invite a plus-one to, we have an oddly independent existence because we're both introverted enough to prefer spending very little time socializing. We get together every Wednesday--and have done so consistently since we met!--and we always have a meal, talk about whatever is going on, and usually end up consuming some kind of media together until he has to leave for work.
Jeaux's a big freakin' nerd and he works for a tech support company doing computer things. He also fixes my computer sometimes and helps me with it if I don't know what to do about something, and he fixes things in my house if they break. I help him with recipes and sewing his clothes. We frequently joke about this because it's extremely gender roles-y. He likes to write (but tends not to finish things) and reads a LOT, and has a lot of female-friendly media interests as well as a pretty broad interest in video games. We talk a lot about books and feminism and stuff like that. He's a weirdo, an unexpectedly off-the-wall-funny guy, a hermit of sorts, a boycotter of all social media (except a particular video game forum), a fan of space and ocean science, and a guy who's almost always wearing the disturbing tee shirt.
These three folks all know each other and they all came to my book release party thing!
I have lots of other friends and tend to stay in touch for a very long time, but these are the people I have frequent interaction with and have consistently trusted with anything and everything. The other folks I'd consider to be in my "inner circle" of best friends include Jessie, Fred, Cara, Ronni, Mike, Sarah, Stacy, Kim, Jeremy, Kari, R., and kinda-sorta Eric (but I haven't had contact with the guy for a long time so I think he's maybe exiting my radar these days). I also have some developing friendships and cooling friendships here and there, but I've already kind of overdone this writing prompt (as usual), so I'll just stop there. :D