Richard from Texas

I just took two Klonopin and I’m sitting at my desk trying not to cry… partly because I lost a friend and I feel like I’m losing one now.

Weeks ago, The Professor asked me to do something the weekend of the Ghostbusters movie with Danni, Autumn, and the crew. I told her that if I couldn’t get a ticket, I’d love to do something, or we could get together on Saturday or Sunday. I wrote her back and said that I did get a ticket, told her which theater we were going to, and asked her if she’d like to come. Then, complete radio silence until a few days ago, when I finally reached out to her, because it was her turn to reply until I thought so much time had gone by that it was silly and decided to swallow my pride and see if she wanted to get together. She did.

Then, the next day, I get an e-mail saying that she’s in a relationship now and she’s going to be pretty busy at work, etc. We’d gotten sort of close, a relationship that I thought might turn into something, and I was so surprised that I told her I thought it was best we didn’t communicate.

The last time we’d spoken, we’d planned all kinds of things to do, and admitted that we had feelings for each other. We’d by no means gone on any kind of date, but I was just beginning to accept the idea that I might want to go on one. I could be done brutally punishing myself for the past and try to move into the future. Her first e-mail to me sounded like the relationship was exactly where we’d left it- she still wanted to meet at a coffee shop and read/write together.

I wasn’t blindsided by any means in terms of her being in a relationship now, because there was no relationship between us save a friendship I’d hoped would get closer… and perhaps turn into something more as we walked together… where the idea of waking up next to someone else wasn’t scary anymore.

However, I was hurt and disappointed that she ghosted, showed up as if nothing had happened, and then sprung it on me that she was too busy for me between work and this new person. Overnight, she was different.

Overnight, so was I.

Communicating with her was something I knew would hurt, so that’s why I ended the friendship altogether. Having feelings about her in this space is different, because I’m not writing to anyone but me. You’re always invited, but even if I didn’t have any readers, this would be the place where I’d keep my memories.

I’m always certain that people have my URL. I’m never certain that they’re reading, and it can’t matter to me, because I won’t heal if I put others’ opinions above my own.

And then today I saw that Scales and The Colonel had gotten married on Facebook. We’d gotten fairly close, so it wasn’t like I expected an invitation, but I had to deal with my disappointment that I didn’t get a heads up. Maybe she thought I’d try to talk her out of it, but I wouldn’t have. If she’s happy, so I am I. But again, it’s another friend that’s just been lost in this cocoon of relationship that no friendship resides outside of it, at least between us.

I do not understand this, only because I dig the fuck out of The Colonel and never felt like a third wheel. But I get it. She’s leaving on assignment soon and probably just wanted to spend as much time with her wife as she could before she left. She was noncommittal on even seeing me before she left the country, which stings like a motherfucker because I feel like I got to be her friend during a really crappy time in her life and be the supportive person that would listen while she cried, but didn’t get to enjoy her in all of her laughter.

But if there’s something we all have too little of, it’s time.

I know that a little part of her wanted that whirlwind romance to be with me, but I couldn’t do it, knowing that she was leaving in four months and I wasn’t even ready to go on a first date, much less a tenth… and I definitely wouldn’t have been ready to get married the week before she shipped out.

But the Colonel has more resources than I do, the ability to travel the world, so I think that Scales ended up with the right person for her. But it doesn’t mean I don’t miss her friendship, and part of me wants to push her away, too, because she has so clearly pushed me away as well.

Maybe, like Argo, she was a soulmate not designed to be permanent, but to shake me into a different reality, like Richard from Texas in Eat. Pray. Love.

I also had a moment of, “so this is what it’s like to find out big news on Facebook,” relating it back to my separation announcement from Dana. And then I had a huge moment of clarity. You don’t include people in your divorce. You don’t invite them. The problem of who to tell first still exists, because you’re not spreading happy news. It bothered the shit out of me for a long time that Dana approved the post and held it over my head immediately afterward, even though the comments on that post were among the most supportive and loving I’ve ever gotten. I can’t speak for Dana, but just as much love poured out for her as well, but it is not up to me to decide if she felt it.

And even then, the reality of divorce didn’t hit me. I even wrote in the post that perhaps our paths would ultimately lead us back to each other. It hit me much later, after a lot of writing and processing had taken place. That our communication styles would never mesh, that I could forgive her for the fistfight but I couldn’t forget it, that her family was never going to take me in the way mine had wound themselves around her.

And that Dana liked our cocoon, and the fight regarding Argo would never be over, not ever. Too much had gone on between Argo and me that made Dana feel absolutely excluded, and that left-out feeling was the seat of her resentment and always would be as long as Argo was in the picture, no matter what the painting entailed.

It’s pizza night, but I’m not hungry.


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