She Was A Friend, Stabbed Backs And Broke Plans, She Would Give You Her Coat, Or Put Nails Through Her Hand, She Was Wise, Full Of Magic And Life
October 2nd, 2006
Yes, I've noticed it too, how we laugh less like we used to and raise our voices maybe more than any two friends are supposed to. Such things have not escaped my attention. Perhaps it's like you said when you said it was par for the course and that the smoothest road in the world will still have bumps, but something tells me it's much more than that these days. Something tells me the little annoyance, the petty put-downs, and the brief fights we've been having are all symptoms of a more severe condition. What that is, I have no clue. All I know is that there are times like today when I feel, I can feel, that you seem to know what's best for me and you are trying so hard to tell me what the right way to run my life is. In other words, you're trying so hard to tell me how you would do it. And it just about drives me crazy that you think you are so qualified to tell me how to fix my mistakes when, in most cases, I never really saw them as mistakes in the first place. This is not to say I don't make mistakes, but what I consider mistakes and what you consider mistakes are more often than not the same things.
Sometimes I hate you for that. Humility has never been a strong point of yours, has it? You parade your life and how well it's worked out for you in front of me. Then you offer it as proof that you've got all the easy answers. Then you discreetly suggest that maybe if I take a page out of your book that I'll be as successful, as happy, and as fulfilled as you claim to be. As if it were that easy. What you don't understand is that it isn't that easy. My life isn't that easy. I don't know if anyone has led your brand of charmed life except you. Yes, you've had your hardships, but I also can't help but be jealous of how well circumstances have pulled you out of it. When you fall, it only serves to lead to you jumping higher, whereas, when I fall, I seem to always be the one who breaks my ankle.
Maybe that's part of it too. Maybe I'm a little jealous of you, of how happy you seem to be. That's always been part of my personality, wasting my time bemoaning my sorry fate instead of doing something about it. I'd rather throw stones at your treehouse instead of building my own. I can't help it, though. There's still a part of me that thinks your life could have been our life. I don't know if I'll ever get that over my head. It'll probably just consume until I'm an old man and die of bitterness. Wouldn't that be appropriate?
You're right, I said a lot of things to you today that weren't designed to be critical, but only to be mean. And, yes, you're right, I haven't been that way in quite a long time. I don't know what it was about today. I felt that old, familiar short fuse being lit and then it was over. Fairly soon, I was the dumbass jerk raising his voice over the phone, cursing you out over the stupidest things, and, yes, hanging up. It goes without saying that I apologize. I'd like to say that's not like me. However, it is just like me and we both know it. I thought I'd grown out of it, yet it never seems to outgrow me. Old habits dying hard and all that, you know? This won't be the part where I call out your errors and what you could have done better. We also both know that that will come in time. You may be a wench, but at least you're a wench who can recognize her own faults given enough time.
For the record, I am not glad when you're unhappy and I don't intentionally start these things to make you cry. It's not my intention to ever push things that far. It always just seems to end up there, especially lately.
Maybe we're just getting too old to pretend that the small things don't matter to us. A part of me still hurts when someone I have an immense fondness for talks about being with another person. It's been a rough week for that kind of thing all around--not just with you, but with her too. It's like I always think I can be that cool friend with whom you can discuss anything in front of you. I always think I can play it low-key when you talk about being with him. Inevitably, though, my thoughts always race back to the idea of "why can't it be me?" Hearing it from her for the past couple of months, I thought I'd kept a handle on my self-interest, but it finally came to a head yesterday. I finally told her that one day--not right now, maybe not even soon--I want her to think of me as someone interested in her. So I had that running all through my head today.
That's when you started in with all the negativity and all the back-handed comments you sent to my work about how it could only lead to trouble. I tried joking along with you, but eventually you wore me out. I admit it, I snapped. I'd already had my doubts running through my head about it never being able to work out. I'd already thought that maybe I should back off for my own sanity. Yet it's different when you make a plan because you think it's a good idea and when somebody is giving you an ultimatum about ceasing or else. It isn't fair to parlay my faith in your judgment to ridicule me and my opinions. I know I'm a dork and I know I chase after rainbows in the dark, but it's still my call. All I ever wanted you and, for the most part, what I've received in abundance from you is for you to support me in whatever decisions I make. You've always been good at that. Today you weren't. It's as simple as that.
Maybe that's what these last months are all about. Maybe I've slackened off in getting behind everything you're interested in now. Maybe I've been the bad friend in terms of being there when you needed a cheerleader. And maybe that's what I've been feeling lately from you, that we're no longer in agreement about everything like we once were. We aren't kids anymore. I'd like to think we've grown up, become more mature. With that, perhaps we've taken on worldviews that quite aren't parrallel with each other any more. It happens. I know we always had our differences, but maybe we're starting to feel it more. Maybe there is a fundamental shift in perspective that we're only now beginning to feel the effects of. Could that be it?
The only thing I know is I started having those thoughts that I always do when things start to become too stressful for me to handle. I start to contemplate that life would be easier if you weren't in it. And, you know, when I start thinking that is when I start acting like a complete idiot. That's when I would start freezing you out, stop returning your calls, no longer be in such a hurry to catch up with, and just generally doing my best to pretend that I don't need you any more. That's what I've done with almost every other person I've ever known.
But never with you somehow.
Even when I walked away from our friendship, that phase only lasted months. It certainly wasn't the years that Jina and I stopped talking. It certainly wasn't the forever I have with most people I was once friends with.
I won't lie to you. There are times when I hate your fucking guts. You're egotistical. You like to boil things down into the simplest terms. You think everyone can be happy through sheer willpower. You like to give advice that you've never even tested yourself. You commit yourself to such narrow viewpoints sometimes, it drives me crazy. You like to talk over me when you think you're losing a discussion. You're condescending, stubborn, and facetious. You mock everything you don't have a firm grasp of. You grow pensive when you lose.
Yet we're still friends. That's got to say something about the multitude of good qualities you must have, right?
I don't know--what you wrote in your letter might come true. We may stop being friends before we die. I don't want that to happen, but you never know. It's just like in Wedding Crashers, you can't predict the future. You can only use the information at hand to make the best decision possible. I really believe that. I can't know if something I do or something you do will cause an irreparable tear in the fabric of our friendship. I can't predict that. I can only use what I know about you and what knowing you brings to the table. I can only use that information to decide that having you in my life is worth the pain that having you in my life entails.
Yes, sometimes you make me angry when you're all annoying and when I've just had it up to here with your "quaint" sayings and "too cute" platitudes. Yes, sometimes you make me angry when you call me morally bankrupt and lacking all perspective. Yes, sometimes you make me angry when you shove in my face your latest crowning achievement. And yes, you make me angry when you refuse to listen to anybody else's voice.
Yes, sometimes you make me sad when you reminesce about how much we used to be in love with each other. Yes, sometimes you make me sad when you talk about your other life with him. Yes, sometimes you make me sad when I realize that I'm not the last person you say good night to any more. Yes, sometimes you make me sad when I realize that you're the only person that makes me this sad.
But being occasionally mad and sometimes depressed are small prices to pay for the richness you bring to my life.
oh you could see it in her eyes
oh yeah i saw it in her eyes
Days like today, when I seriously take stock of how much you're worth to me and consider folding it in, I'm reminded of days of old.
Days like today, when I don't want to speak to you ever again, they never last. They can't last because days like today don't come around often and days like today always get replaced by days like April '95 or December '94 or July '98.
Also, it's on days like today when I know you've lost all patience with me that I remember days like when a lonely guy stumbled on a poem written by a lonely girl and a connection was made. That connection has yet to falter and I don't look forward to the day if it ever does.
I can't promise you there won't be any more hateful words or stinging missives full of unadulterated bitterness and rancor. I can't even promise you that we'll be friends forever. I can only say I'm willing to give it a shot as long as you are--maybe longer.
"So what do you say we try to have it all? Let's jerk one out of the park."