Category Archives: Old Friends

On the Freedom from Friendship

On the Freedom from Friendship

Some people are so absorbed in their culture that they have very rigid beliefs about the way society functions, or should function, that it is almost pointless to tell them any of your rather humorous fuax pas because, instead of laughing, they will start to pity you.

The moment you realize you are being pitied, is a moment of truth.  The sun shines brighter, a breeze whirls around you, an intensely fresh scent intoxicates you, and it suddenly it hits you that you don’t actually give a damn.  You find yourself yelling, “Finally!! I am free of this shit!” with you arms up to the sun in a victory V and your head tilted back.  Your mind starts to reconnect the past in ways that make you realize why you’ve been feeling so disconnected with this person for so long but didn’t have words or reason to describe it.

Gingerly, you wait as time passes…”maybe it was just a fleeting moment and I will change my mind,” you think to yourself.  But no, as time goes on, life gets better.  There is no aching hole to fill, instead you actually enjoy using it for target practice and admire it like a trophy by hanging it on your wall…”See this here,” you imagine telling some future person, “this is all that’s left of that friendship, beat it to the ground didn’t we eh? nothing left to salvage [insert Santa Claus laugh here].” You realize that you didn’t actually need the person at all because you haven’t hardly even had an inkling of a reason to pretend like you are friends with them again.  Now there is a whole open space, void of bitching and agreeing-just-to-avoid-negative-situations, that can be filled with new people and ideas and happy thoughts…..

Comforts of Old Friends

Comforts of Old Friends

I was nervous about flying there to visit him because I’m not always the most exciting person to be around and it is stressful to feel the need to be more entertaining. Plus I tend to ramble in too much detail about things that others aren’t necessarily interested in. But I got off the plane and there he was. I mean, we never really hung out alone together before and here I was visiting for an entire week. I just had guts and was putting them to good use because I really wanted to hang out with him.

I was quickly put at ease. He loaded my suit case into his car and off I went with my personal tour guide telling me all the drama of the area with a wittiness no one could possibly fake. I had such a great time, we went swimming, snorkeling, climbed rocks, saw lava, watched movies, all the usual tourist things with the extra benefit of participating in someone’s everyday life.

The Evolution of Spending Time

The Evolution of Spending Time

There I was sitting in Victoria Park in Sydney with my Saturday friend. We were sitting on the hill just above the city pool intermittently people watching as he taught me how to read tarot cards. We had been in the habit of hanging out every Saturday, just killing time either at the park, the mall, just walking the streets, or watching cool concept movies at my place.

Conversation, as usual, was flowing smoothly and lead down fascinating roads, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about something else. I was thinking about how I often spent time with people because another person, who I was hoping to spend time with, was busy or didn’t want to spend time with me. Seems to be a reoccurring predicament, one that keeps me from fully enjoying the present because I still was halfway pulled away by some other longing for something that was completely out of my grasp.

In this case something different happened, my Saturday friend has now become someone I wish I could spend time with, not because he does not want to spend time with me, but just simply because of distance and I’m okay with that reason.

On Despair

On Despair

I sat on the balcony of a cafe next to my work in Sydney gazing out at the puffy clouds in the sky to the west. It was lunch time, well, the end of lunchtime, I was in the habit of taking lunches later to make the rest of the work day go by quicker. I had tunnel vision, meaning I didn’t care to look around and see if anyone I knew was sitting nearby; all I could think of was how horrible it was to be in this situation.

I just wanted to cry but I was tired of crying, I cried for three days after every phone call because I couldn’t stop habitually ruminated over every detail of the call. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong; wanted to call me as if I was happy he dumped me and was now off doing what he thought was what I wanted to do all along. I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no reassurance, no mention that the problem existed other than a Freudian slip followed by a nervous laugh when he accidentally said April 4th (the day he dumped me in a smokey bar) instead of August 4th (the day he was planning some sort of backpacking trip). Regardless of him making such a big deal about leaving me behind for some life experience that he couldn’t do tied to some girl back home, he still insisted on calling me every few days to tell me of his adventures and listen to what I was doing.

It was that day, 4 months later that I realized he dumped me after 7 years to go on vacation.

So there I sat, plagued by cyclical emotions. The current emotion I was in was rather analytical and dry of energy. I realized that the only reason my mind was sick was because this voice kept creeping into my life from far away offering nothing more than a hint that it might come visit. The thought of which only filled me with dread.

Then the phone rang again, as if on cue. There it was again, apparently sitting in some cafe in Tibet or some country near there, expecting to get what it wanted out of me for the time being without leaving me with something of value in return. I was mad at it, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it. So I just started talking about all the boys that I’ve encountered to make him jealous (because I knew it would work regardless of how he denied ever being jealous). I went into detail about how the boys all loved me and complimented me on the strangest things and how they were all so different and all such good friends even though I had only known them for the few months I’d been in Sydney, and how I was really fascinated by one in particular.

Then I just came out with it and asked, “Why are you calling me?”

There wasn’t much of an answer, so I just kept talking, “I don’t understand why you are calling me, you were so mean to me, you said such horrible things, and now you want to call me like none of it ever happened, you just want to go on as if nothing happened.”

Somehow the subject of another girl came up, who I knew he had a crush on because he hadn’t stopped talking about her for an entire year. Then he said, “you always get in a such a rage when [girl] is mentioned, you know you’re just going to have to get used to her and I being friends.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t because I don’t want to talk to you anymore, this whole situation is driving me crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

“Whoa…. What!?!” he responded almost with a slight laugh over me saying I was being driven crazy because he always called me crazy for having normal female emotions, “But [girl] and I were going to come visit you!”

“What the fuck do I care about seeing [girl], why the fuck does she have anything to do with this?” I said.

It was at that point someone (the fascinating one in particular, of all people) walked by and tapped me on the head with a rolled up newspaper, as if to say what specifically I am not sure, but I perceived as if, to say “hey I’m here and take it easy.”

“Great,” I thought, “I tried to keep all this away from new people, I tried as much as I could to not be broken, but I’ve failed by being stuck in this tunnel vision of a fog all because the phone happened to ring when someone I knew was nearby.” If I wasn’t pissed off at my situation before I definitely was now. And I wasn’t going to put up with this shit any longer.

“But I’ve been carrying gifts for you for three weeks until I could get to a post office, what am I supposed to do with them now?” the voice pleaded.

“Throw them away, I don’t care, I don’t want them anymore, give them to [girl] sounds like she’ll appreciate them,” I snapped back.

“Well okay,” he said, “If you’re going to be like that then I guess this is goodbye.”

“I guess so!” I retorted.

“Okay, then, bye.” were the last words from the voice I’ve ever heard.

“Bye,” click.

Then sometime later… the phone rang back in Huntington Beach, California.

It was the voice on a train to his next city, calling a friend back at home.

“Friend! It’s [the voice],” came a solemnly desperate voice

“Hey man, What’s up?” asked the friend.

“Stephanie,” sob, “said she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore,” he cried.

Just as the friend was about to respond the call was dropped and there was silence.

On Friend Styles

On Friend Styles

I sat on my couch next to a long-term friend. Myself and another friend (whose mom had just picked her up) had just unintentionally said some hurtful things to this long-term friend and she was determined to get back at me.

“Friend,” she started, “you really need to stop worshiping me so much. People notice that you just jump at the chance to do things for me.”

I tried to explain by saying, “I was just being nice and if I can help any friend out, not just you, I do. Friends give me a reason to do things I wouldn’t normally do if I didn’t have friends.”

She continued by explaining, “You need to be stronger in yourself and not be such a push over.”

This upset me because I valued her opinion. But I took her advice and we are no longer friends because now I hang out with people who actually appreciate me for my type of friendship-style because it is similar to their own.

The Gift

The Gift

I was excited about the birthday gift I had bought one of my favorite friends. I found the coolest watch for her because years ago (before this friend had become friends with everyone else in my group of friends) she had excitedly shown me her watch collection and explained how much she liked having so many of them. After all this time I finally found a watch that fit my friend’s style.

That night, after a movie, I ran to catch my friend (who was getting in the car to go home) and give her the neatly wrapped box.

With a huge smile, I said “Wait! I have a present for you, Happy Birthday!”

After I handed my friend the package, she turned it over in her hands and without opening it, she apathetically asked, “Oh is it a watch?”

I lost all momentum and replied, “yeah, it is.”

My friend said, “yeah, everyone’s been giving me watches, but thanks.”

I felt a certain emotion for which at the time I had no words. It was a sudden disconnection that only years later would I be able to describe as the feeling you get when you realize that some friends treat everyone just like they treated you and to them, you are just another person to kill time with; nothing special and completely disposable.

In the Middle

In the Middle

I don’t know what is so draining about being directly in the middle of something that makes it seem like there is more weight pushing down on me. I guess it is that I know more about what is ahead than I did when I was starting out. Also, I can see the end, so I’m aware of how much freedom I will have once I am finished. I just have to remember to remember that life won’t always be so uncertain, one day when all the variables settle in place, I’ll probably apply this same sense of emotion I have right now to the fact that outrageous possibilities are few.

Playing an Undesireable Social Role

Playing an Undesireable Social Role

The thing about spending enormous amounts of time alone is that you get to see first hand human socialization habits, as just that, habits, well more than just habits…. More like a series of pointless, often useless, and emotionally draining habits. Okay, okay, I won’t completely drag it down here; many of them are indeed fulfilling, useful, and personally rewarding. But unfortunately we have just been exposed to them and when we, for some reason, didn’t pull off the habit as well as others, we have spent an enormous amount of time trying and retrying to get them right and “fit in.”

This means we continually subject ourselves to other people for the purpose of fitting in to some sort of club only because at one point we thought we weren’t quite good enough to get into but we wanted to get in. In reality, we were in the club, just not the role we wanted for ourselves.

Our role was to be the person who never got it right, no matter what we did because once we got it right, the rules changed to keep us as the people in the club that the other members could talk about behind our back and use us as a conversational past time to avoid confronting themselves and their own ridiculous ways. Now once you’ve been in the club for a while you realize you aren’t the only one who is in this role, there are others in your same class of people who are never allowed to get things right.

Some of us may chose to ignore what I believe are negative aspects of this role and just accept the role in the club you have been given because deep down you need these people to make you feel at ease inside yourself (for reasons undiscovered thus far by me), regardless of how often you notice insiders casting quick smirking glances between each other when your sense of expressing yourself confirms something they noticed in a prior confidence.

Now all this depends upon the context of why these people keep inviting you around. There are plenty of times I am willing and able to make fun of myself and allow others to do so, but the difference is I want to be in that role.

Friends

Friends

Risk of being reduced to a stepping stone

Exposed to different peoples social rules and levels of what is polite. Also their own concept of time. Should one person feel that a week is a long time to go without some sort of validation of the relationship and you think a month is enough then the person with the need for a shorter interval for (not justification but…. What’s the word?) reassurance then the more secure person (assuming the ability to go longer periods of time without reassurance or change in the perception of the status of the relationship indicates less insecurity) must accommodate the insecurities of the other and add this action to the list of what friends are for. With insecurity comes a higher threshold for being let down. Those who are more secure and less in need of constant reassurance have stricter boundaries.

A Major Problem with the Perception of Equal Rights Between Men and Women

A Major Problem with the Perception of Equal Rights Between Men and Women

Some men think that equal rights means that women should be treated as if they actually do think, understand, and process like men do.

I realize you are not a girl with a ‘package’…. so please don’t treat me like a guy with a vagina.