On friendship.

On Saturday, I had brunch with an old friend. We were best friends, or at least very good friends, and roommates throughout college.  A little over two years ago, she broke up with me.  The exact circumstances of this breakup are still unclear, but in retrospect I gather that I was pretty much an insufferable asshole.

One of the last conversations I had with her before she dissolved the friendship in the beginning of 2007 was about how I was e-mailing with Cautionary Lover.  I told her I had asked him if he told his wife about our correspondence, and he said he hadn’t because there was nothing to tell.  When I told my old friend this, she nodded once, paused in thought, her brow wrinkled, and then nodded again.  “Okay,” she had said, with a hint of wary.

When she apologized for ditching me, which she did immediately after we greeted each other with a hug, I told her that I don’t really blame her for it, and that the truly amazing thing is when people do want to be my friend even when I fuck up monumentally.

We caught up on each other’s lives over eggs.  A lot has changed in two years.  She’s married.  I’m separated.  Life isn’t quite what we thought it would be.  In some ways, it’s better.  In other ways, it’s worse.  She took my sad story in stride: the affair, the separation, the antidepressants.

We’ve both changed a lot, for the better.

We had planned on going to the farmer’s market after brunch to browse the fresh veggies, but on the way she confessed to me that she heard through her sister’s friend’s dog’s uncle’s brother’s cousin that I’d had an affair.  And her source had a pretty damn good guess on who it was with.

She also told me that, largely, this blog was to blame.  I am my own slanderer.  And Cautionary Lover’s slanderer as well.

After she told me this, right there, in her car, I had a full-blown anxiety attack.  Nausea overcame me, my mouth completely dried up, and my heart began to race.  We stopped off to get me some water, since the 105-degree heat obviously wasn’t helping matters, and, in-between taking deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth, I asked her to take me home.

Once there, I took some Pepto, which I drink straight from the bottle nowadays, and asked her to lie down on my bed with me. I put my head on her chest, and, shaking, I began to cry.

“Everyone’s going to find out,” I said. “Not only do I make horrible decisions (a word that I’ve typed so much lately that I was convinced I was spelling wrong just now), I also have to go and write about them.”

“You have a right to write about your life,” she reminded me.

“Yes,” I replied, “but at what cost?”

She nodded and remained silent, stroking my hair until I stopped crying and we found things to laugh about again.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “On friendship.

  1. humanbeingblog

    crap.

    I had a friend break up with me over my affair, too. I ran into her at a store recently (I didn’t even know she was back in Denver) and it was, well, awkward. No reconciliation there.

    The thing about blogging and letting ANYONE you know know about it, is that you’re opening yourself up for judgment. If you’re going to blog, you have to accept that part of it. Scary, huh.

    I just had to censor a long post about something that’s going on at work on my blog, because people I work with read my blog. Which I’m ok with in general, but it makes it difficult to write about work. Especially when I need to vent.

    Hang in there! We all make stupid mistakes every day. It’s how we learn. And for every stupid reason you did what you did, you also did it because it’s what you wanted. And it’s OK to want what you want. Stop beating yourself up. yes, it brought you to where you are, and where you are sucks right now, but it’s also OK. I can tell you from my own experience that you will rise from these ashes. You will.

    Love and friendship are complicated. I’m glad you’re back with your friend.

  2. blog

    She is right that you have a right to write about whatever you want, but it is wise of you to think about the cost. At the cost of CH and CL? At the cost of your reputation or CL’s reputation? At the cost of the families of those involved?

  3. So what are your thoughts about continuing this blog?…

  4. i want you to know that i love this. love love love it. and that i’ve had friends break up with me over nothing. i’ve had a friend break up with me over me falling for her brother. i’ve had a friend break up for me because i’d somehow changed in her mind since college. who doesn’t change over time? but the best friends, according to one of my best friends, are the ones you can go back to and fall right back into. i also know that it can be hard to watch your friends enter in to a path of self destruction. and that it doesn’t mean that person doesn’t love you when they can’t sit by and watch it happen. it just means that love is difficult for them and they don’t want it to be. but you can’t, truly you can’t, stifle your own free will. you make your own mistakes and you live with them and that’s what life’s all about. that’s why we all make different patterns with it.

    but really nothing, nothing at all, can beat a good cry. xo

  5. DB

    Very thought provoking.

    Blogging openly about yourself is the most brutal kind of honesty. In once sense, it’s very admirable- you have the courage to say things that others only think about, and you’re also offering up your life experiences for others to learn from. On the other hand, though, brutal honesty can be very hurtful to others, and you can never take back the things you’ve said here.

    Allow me to provoke another thought: are there people in your life who ought to know the thoughts you’ve posted privately and anonymously on this blog, and yet you’ve prevented them from knowing the painful truth?

  6. kindred spirit

    Friends come and go as do seasons, and for reasons. So it is with yours. CG, you are a good person. You are. This is life. It is one of the tougher parts, but it is life. There are two types of people. Those who have gone through extraordinarily difficult situations, and those who will. It is through this chit that we grow. We grow not because of the spanking we get, but because of the thought we give to discovering out true selves, and the pursuit of knowing thyself, your true Self. You are doing that. And it is a beautiful person.

  7. smh

    You’re really lucky to have a friend like that. I hope you know it.

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