leaf me alone (the failure of a friendship)

it’s happened to you, admit it.

years go by and a friendship grows between you and “x”. you spend time together, laugh, share, cry, introduce lovers, husbands, wives, children, family, holidays, letters (and this past decade of emails), geographical distance doesn’t seem to be a particular impediment to your love for each other; perhaps you only occasionally speak with each other on the phone.

you see each other every couple of years, all seems well. then one day, it doesn’t. no holiday card that year. a letter floats to the bottom of a pile of mail, unopened.  a phone message goes unanswered. (it isn’t just them, you’ve done it too, maybe just not with this “x”.) you don’t think a thing about it at first, “they’re busy,” you may muse and if you have a particular paranoia, you may begin to think after an appropriate amount of time has gone by–say a day, a week, a month, last year–“did i say something wrong? did i miss a special occasion?” and you answer yourself (as some of us paranoids do), “why, i did nothing to cause this.”

and that may be true. you may have done nothing (or something, too, but you’ll never know what it may have been.)  it may be that it was just time for this friendship with “x” (or “y” or “z”) to end. an organic ending, natural, should you be paying attention, but often you’re not attuned to that  and instead you fret and worry (and compound your redundancies) as “x” pops into your head unbidden, years later, and still you wonder why they left you and the might-have-beens and what-ifs surface, a little water-logged (to maintain the metaphor).

and perhaps you examine some of the friendships you ended, gradually or abruptly, and you satisfy yourself by thinking, “it was time,” or “he was a drunk,” or “they bored me with their nonsense and prattle,” and yet, don’t you wish they were sitting all alone (as you may be right now) or even among their current crop of friends and suddenly there you are in their mind’s-eye, taking them a bit by surprise at your appearance–what could have summoned you to them on this particular day they wonder, they may even pause in the middle of a sentence as your face/name floats in front of them and then they shrug their shoulders, effectively erasing you from their consciousness and turn to their companions and smile for the love of a good friend.


4 Responses to “leaf me alone (the failure of a friendship)”

  1. November 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Robert Darling,
    this is much to sad. It is true in some friends I agree.
    But, I hope you know I am always here for you. We share to much history together. I wish more of our friends were like we are.
    Special, alas they are not.
    Much love.

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      I know, Toni, that you and I will always be connected. It’s just as I get older that I look back and wonder what went wrong with some of the friendships I made and exclusive of dying, why am I not still friends with those people.

  2. November 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Some people put other people into a box and only remember them as they were in 1986 or whatever and never ever let them change or grow. Alway speaking to them in that “Oh I know how you are” well life experiences do change us.
    For me I feel years even if we are apart means something to me. We experienced things in our lives together I feel was a growth. Sad to say almost all the people we have known if not dead seem like strangers.
    Remember Terry H? Hot body wore a hair piece for many years.
    After moving to NYC and 10 yrs had gone by Terry found my number and was stuggling to pay for medications and food. He called me for help. I helped because we are friends. He hardly remembered my name but I knew who he was.
    I hurt from the same thing Robert. Nothing really went wrong, both of us wanted more in life and went off to different parts of the earth and they stayed behind to do what they were comfortable doing and they were safe.
    I believe the answer is letting your dear friends grow and excepting that growth then the friendship grows with strength and love.
    love Toni

    • November 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Dear Toni,
      We do change over time; there’s no doubt that I am a different person than I was when we first met so many years ago. The thing for me, as you say it is for you, is that I’ve accepted that change and yours too. It makes us closer, even though it’s been years since we’ve seen each other, doesn’t matter. It should be noted that those shared experiences–working at Arnie’s, going out after work, our circle of friends and acquaintances, your help when I needed it most (I still giggle thinking about your refrigerator in that little apartment on Wrightwood–was it Wrightwood?–with only fingernail polish in it, which somehow made sense at the time,) all of those times and loves and likes are a part of us today, but so are all the intervening years–you in New York and Maine, me in Chicago and now the west coast–where we lived our lives separately from each other, all of that is just detail, easily filled in when needed, but the greater bond still exists. And for that I am eternally grateful.

      Loving you very much, Robert

      P.S. I do remember Terry with the toupee and hot body–he ran in a different group of boys than I. You moved among all those different groups of us with such ease, never carrying any tales, always fresh and involved with whoever you were with. It’s a special gift, one I bet you still have. RP

      P.P.S. Have you read this: bl_nd ambition? the password is, blond.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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