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.