Seventeen Thoughts

A full year has passed since the R-tist Douce slammed a one sided 8 text goodbye into my phone on a cold bitter morn. I had kept secrets, withheld private information about my own personal life… just wasn’t ready to share. When I told him that I wrote him a letter to explain what’s going on with me and a yeah, I’ve been seeing someone, he did not wait for the letter to arrive… he mulled it over in the night, then played judge and jury, executing our friendship at dawn.

I wrote about it last January in Sixteen Changes.

I still don’t get how he concluded that I was “emotionally cheating” on him AND the man I was quietly seeing, a bit bizarre considering that the R-tist and I were, by his own choice, just friends. Sure, we had a bit of history, we had tested the waters years ago… but, not once in 20 years did I actually sleep with him as in curl up like puppies and wake up together in the same bed. We never had that kind of relationship. We were just old friends, good friends, at times each other’s muse, and I loved him dearly… still do. He was one of my best friends and I miss him.  I haven’t seen him in over 10 years (which makes the cheating thing even more bizarre) but he was the one person that I could always talk or text about artsy things, share poetry, dream out loud, whatever.

I’m still kind of mad at him over all this… why would he trash me up one side and down the other? Accuse me of being delusional, saying I want my cake and eat it, too.

Yes, I do… I want my cake and eat it, too… I don’t believe in dumping my friends just because they happen to be of the same gender as a current love interest, especially if we have been friends for a long time.  I can see where friends may become an issue with that “cleave to your spouse” thing, if a person turns to their friend instead of their husband, whatever… but I’m NOT getting married. I don’t think I need to dump my friends to get laid, nor could I date anyone so insecure that they can’t deal with me having my own close friends. I shy away from control freaks, try to avoid the abusive types, so there is no reason why I can’t have friends AND a lover, if that’s the cake and eat it, too.

It’s also a two way street… do I get weird when I hear my lover say “love you” at the end of a phone conversation with his best friend, who happens to be female? No… I’m secure enough in my own relationship to know his love for his friend is on a totally different plane than his love for me. Apples and oranges; this is real life, not teenage drama crap.

There’s a part of me that wonders if the R-tist thinks he did me a favor… oh yeah. He accused me of being delusional, so I have spent the last year seeking the clarity of cold reality.

I have seventeen thoughts on that…

No, I’m not going to list them… bottom line, he did himself a favor.

By ending our friendship, he stopped using me as a crutch. Hopefully, he got his act together and did something with his poetry instead of wasting endless hours texting or talking to me. Maybe he started making art again… started chasing his dreams again… got a new job or some help for that depression that kept him on the brink, or overcame his fear of rejection enough to make amends to his son.

As for me… there is a hollow place, a quiet space, shrouded with sadness where this friendship used to dwell. My words are silent, swirling inside my own head.

I write about it because I cannot talk about it… this blog, you know, is so publicly private.

Maybe I should explain that…

When I first started seeing the vet, he told me that I share too much. Like he doesn’t need to know where I’m going or what I’m doing all the time, he’s not one of those control freak guys. He kept stressing that I need to keep a part of me for me, so I figured okay… this blog is mine. I will never discuss it with him, never share anything I write, even though it is out there on the internet, as public as can be. I’m pretty sure that he reads it now and then, even though I stopped sharing links to new posts on my Facebook page, as he will occasionally say something about knowing more about me than I think he does… But, for my own personal amusement and the sake of keeping something as “all mine” to never share with him, let’s all just pretend this very public blog is my own personal private zone to write about anything and everything, including how I feel about this lost friendship.

The vet’s opinion is a flat out, “He’s not your friend. A friend wouldn’t do you like that.”

The vet was with me with the text slam arrived. In his mind, there is nothing to discuss about it, the friendship ended so there is no need to ever bring it up in any conversations. My mind doesn’t work like that. I cannot use logic to shut off how I feel. I valued the friendship. I was deeply hurt by the way it ended, but I still mourn the loss, still miss my friend.

Time heals all wounds, but scars remain.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Birds & Spoons

A little birdie reminded me of New Year’s Eve. Actually, it was a neighbor lady. We were sitting outside on a courtyard bench, chatting like old birds while little city birds darted around us, searching the bricks for crumbs.

“You’ve got a good fellow,” she said. “I’m really glad you got together, wasn’t sure there for awhile. I remember the day you were dressed up nice and going somewhere, you walked that way and he stayed here. It was New Year’s Eve and I could tell.” She paused to give me a hard look before confiding, “I heard what you said. You didn’t see me, but you walked passed me and I heard you say, ‘I deserve better’ and thought uh-oh, she is not happy.”

Uh-oh, note to self: stop thinking out loud.

I wasn’t sure there for awhile myself, but I did not tell her that. I just told her that I wasn’t happy that night but it worked out okay; he caught up with me later, found me in a coffee shop.

I showed her pictures of the house and assured her that I will not be a stranger, after all, my “fellow” has an apartment in this building. That could be a perk after I move since there is no night service on the bus route near the house. I can come downtown for art shows and poetry readings or whatever, just stay at his place, catch a bus in the morning instead of paying for a taxi ride home. He won’t mind… actually, it was his suggestion.

Some people are surprised that he is not moving with me, considering that we practically live together now. We talked about it… bottom line is we both need space. Here, we each have our own apartment. We are not together 24/7/365… I believe that’s what makes this relationship work.

We are polar opposites. Our life styles are very different. I’m a Maker, he’s not… so I need time and space to make art, bead jewelry, write, sew, crochet, or whatever and he needs time and space to do non-maker things like lounge around in his shorts all day watching sports, cartoons, or movies on television while playing games on his cell phone between naps.

That’s not all he does, but see what I mean? If he moved in with me, all the little things that don’t matter now suddenly will… we would get on each other’s nerves something fierce.

He has voiced his own concerns, mainly his fear of ending up homeless if he gave up his apartment to move in with me. Part of me wants to reassure him that I would never just kick him out, but a little birdie whisper stops me. I cannot guarantee that I will never say those fateful words. What if he turns into a royal ass?

I guess I’m still not sure of anything. This is life lived raw, right here, right now. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring so I just cherish the moments, love with open hands… not sure what to hold on to… even friendship flies away.

Speaking of little birdies… I was treated to lunch at the Mocha House the other day and my sister’s fiance gifted us both with measuring spoons. She picked spoons with bluebirds of happiness, quite fitting as she seems very happy these days, and I picked this set. Thank you Jai and Brian Sha!

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Please ignore my distorted reflection in the leaf shaped bowls. I snapped the photo with my tablet.

Thanks for reading!

Night Breezes

The unspoken questions dangled by imaginary cords tied to the crescent moon suspended over the courthouse, as if waiting on flags to flutter without hesitation before a stray wind stirs enough of a night breeze to whip it into a frenzy.

Have you tired of me yet? Are we near done?

Instead, she asked, “Are you bored?”

Her companion on the bench took the question to mean bored, as in the moment. They had been sitting there, side by side in silence, for quite some time. He said, “Yeah, just a little.”

The night stretched on. Days turned into weeks. Months passed.

She wonders if she can afford him.

This relationship has cost her dearly, and I don’t just mean by her mother’s rejection. That was a given. Her mama was a Separatist born two decades before the Civil Rights Movement, excused from being flat out racist because her narrow minded “to each their own” excluded variations of white people, too.

It wasn’t the first time she ignored her mother’s softly spoken advice on how to live her own life.

As the Matriarch of the family, mama ruled by suggestion and the power of the 12th Commandment: thou shalt not disappoint thy mother. The 11th is don’t argue with her… she took a stand against her mother now and then without arguing, as there were times when mama was so flat out wrong that she could not, in good conscious, go along with her request. Besides, she had disappointed mama so many times over the years that once more only added an inch to the miles already between them.  She wishes mama could understand her, that mama would accept her, if she could just love her without so many strings attached.

She loves her mother… alas, people come “as is” even if they are a bit broken.

 

“I miss my friend,” she said, as he stood by the window.

He continues to look down at the courtyard below, hesitates before putting his thoughts into words.

“No,” she said. “I never told him… he didn’t know any details about you, so race wasn’t the issue. He sent those texts, remember, said I was emotionally cheating…”

He cuts her off by saying, “Yes, I remember. He’s not a friend, never was your friend” and gives her a hard look before ending the conversation with, “a friend would not do you like that.”

She cannot dismiss 20 years so easily, but she drops the subject with silence and sips her coffee as she knows her companion does not like to discuss anything that could be regarded as unpleasant. Their time together is to be enjoyed with the cares of the day behind them.

She still struggles to keep work at work, to walk away from her projects or the computer as if she were punching a time clock at some menial job, to not discuss what she is working on at the dinner table. He thinks she needs to learn how to relax and have fun. She thinks her work is fun.

They are polar opposites, still learning each other.

There are times when he frustrates the hell out of her and times when he simply amazes her. The love they share is a blessing, an unexpected gift so rare that she refuses to take anything for granted, even as their life slips into a daily routine.  She knows how easily life can spin on a dime.

In the still of the night, she waits for a breeze.

He slips a muscular arm around her, pulling her closer, hugging her like a living, breathing, human teddy bear. She snuggles into his sleeping form, drifts into her own dreams feeling all safe and loved and comfy warm.