Thursday, December 9, 2010

pennies: mood ring

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been grappling with a couple of personal failures and rejections. The most significant has been the loss of a couple of friends.

Nobody died. They just went away.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine called me from the road and told me she was through with Charleston and heading home to Texas. It was shocking and disorienting. We'd gotten close and I'd come to rely on her for moral support, as a sounding board for my writing and just someone to kind of get me out of my dull, gray brain.

Her own story is complicated and difficult, but the move wasn't entirely unexpected. She always planned to go. The timing was what was off. I just expected later rather than sooner.

A few weeks ago, she decided that things where she was weren't working the way she'd hoped they would. I really don't know what she thought, but she abruptly stopped communicating.

It scared me just a bit. In the weeks leading up to her dropping out, she'd filled my head with fears about old enemies, talk about a stalkerish new guy she'd sort of been seeing and even her own depressed state.

I imagined all kinds of things. I asked around a little and eventually found out that she was okay, but it hurt. I felt discarded and abandoned.

In the last couple of days, I lost another friend. This one, I've known for years. With him, it's the usual. We've always had a kind of adversarial friendship and snipe back and forth for laughs --sometimes to the point where it ceases to be funny and becomes kind of merciless. On some levels, we're very much alike. We have similar temperaments and ways of thinking, but I have a gift for cruelty. When provoked, I can be particularly hurtful and without really trying.

He can be a bastard, but he's really out of his weight class when it comes to me. I'm just that much more awful.

Anyway, I pissed him off --possibly because he pissed me off --and that was it. He cut me loose. It is probably for the best.

It may be that for my friend who fled to Texas, cutting me out was the best thing for her to do, too --to maybe cut some of the things that tethered her to a specific time in her life that just didn't work. Sometimes maybe you have to get rid of some of the old things to make room for the new in your life.

I've taken the rejections hard. Lately, I've been blathering almost non-stop about change. Well, there you go... change, right there. People change. Sometimes they change because they want to and sometimes they change because they need to. Sometimes it happens because of something you did and sometimes it happens because it happens and it has nothing to do with you at all.

I'm trying to find my peace with this. I've lost people from time to time, but I don't quit anybody. I do give them their space, however. Sometimes that's what they want in the first place --space away from me. I don't chase. I don't beg and I don't plead, but I keep a place open in my life for them in case they should want it.

Sometimes they do come back.

But not always.