Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Night Swimming

I'm completely stressed out to the point of no return and honestly didn't want to start thinking about a failed friendship from my college days, but I did and now that its kept me up for almost 24 hours, I feel nothing less than manic. It was the most important friendship of my life, yet one of the biggest failures and when I begin to dismantle the layers of dysfunction that encompassed our friendship, I think about how I could have fixed it, could have ended it earlier, spoke my mind and been more honest, but most of all, mourn the loss. I suppose time does heal all wounds or at least that's lies we tell ourselves, comforting us when we bottom out and feel not only depressed about our misgivings but downright regretful that we did nothing to salvage a friendship that could have helped shape our lives in ways we'll now never experience.

In my outpouring of the soul, I also caution that I can be a tyrant of sorts, with a heart wrapped in rusty barbed wire if I believe or even suspect that someone has crossed me. It takes me decades to forget such blatant smacks in the face but after unmentionable bouts with pop psychology theories, endless games of Chinese Fortune Telling Stix and rock therapy, I may have inadvertently healed the wounds that bled me dry.

After an old college friend contacted me yesterday via an online social utility, it caused an onslaught of memories, both good and bad, to flood my mind full of inescapable escapades, laughter and funny stories told only to those who downed an old fashioned pint of "Broken Glass Punch" whipped up by myself in the lab that was once housed in Brookville Hall. I try to only think about the wonderful talks we had and how we really were a pair of lunatics from completely different backgrounds that somehow came together like a marriage of mint and chocolate. I should have told her how I really felt all those years ago instead of simply brushing off my hurt feelings and pretending that I rose above it all. When it comes to friendships, I'm not a risk taker nor am I a suitor. For all my ballsy behavior, I am tentative with female friendships and often worry that I'm not holding up my end of the bargain. To compensate, I put too much of myself into the friendship hoping someday to get all that love back. When it doesn't materialize, I bail...a pattern I have repeated more than once in my life. I've learned from it and have moved forward but the failure is still apparent, burrowing deep in the mind till one waft of "six degrees of separation" blows past like a hit and run, beating me down silly.

I tried to make it right once but I knew it was too late. I'm not saying I was a saint nor was she but we both had too much pride to say we were sorry. I'm sure she still harbors a deep hatred towards me but I have to say, I never hated her. My anger was a mask for the all important hurt and disappointment I had when I knew our friendship was headed for the crapper. We both did things to each other that were mean, thoughtless and overtly disgusting, trying to out do the other with vehement and vile cruel behavior. I miss her and wish that our friendship was one for life but as we edged closer to the end, I realized that the general nature of our pairing was at apposing ends of the spectrum. Difference is great but when it becomes a divisive force in a friendship, it can only end badly...which it did and I must freely admit, I wanted to end it, to cut her loose and end the pain. I committed the first sin, jumped off the cliff and waited for the fall-out. When I clawed my way back up the mountain, I found skepticism and hesitance. The end came soon after. It was quick and cold much like the end of other profound friendships that have touched my life. I'll always regret it and wish things could have been different. I wish only wonderful things for her and wonder if she feels the same way about me, but I fear I'm being too optimistic.


Anonymous said...

Excellent story. You hit a home run!!

Shannon said...

Hi Rene, friend of Victor's here...he sent me a link to your blog and was just reading the posts backwards and this one hit me hard. I'm not one to listen to women, but I hear you!