A Little Time

I want to thank all of you who nudge the direction of my writing. I’m thinking of offering a service: “You got something you’d like me to discuss? I can be hired fairly cheaply.

But that would probably kill the thrill of it all because I think those who propose topics love the validation of seeing their ideas, by way of my filter, in virtual print. Paying me would completely diminish the value of the suggestion, so I guess I’ll plug on for free.

Recently the NY Times printed an article about how online vigilantes in China are policing social mores via the internet. A simple posted accusation of an affair can lead to mob behavior of prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one. Facts need not be validated. Charges suffice to spur action. Irate language on the internet moves into real life as the indicted are hunted down for revenge. It’s shocking and threatening.

However, since I can hardly intervene and halt these actions in China, I’d like to see if I can lobby to put this behavior to use for my own advantage.

My best buddy who recently abandoned me (see Just Friends ), finally realized that we haven’t been hanging out or talking. I guess several weeks of my absence finally became noticeable, a bit long for the health of my ego. So now my phone and inbox are getting lots of attention, and my friend is completely indignant that I’m not responding. Some would label my behavior as immature or vengeful. I call it personal growth.

However, in an act of weakness, I responded to one email pleading for an explanation of my disappearance. Obviously, if this friend ever visited here and read my writing, he’d be quite well informed. The fact that he has only, quote, “taken a cursory glance at my site” further fuels my justification for departure. He knows how I’ve been trying to create a writer’s life, and since he is a writer, he knows the challenges I face. Relatively recently – pre-break up – he recommended a newspaper to which I should submit articles. I only now know that his suggestion wasn’t based on having read anything I’ve been writing.

In a flurry of back and forth emails, we quickly hashed out the demise of our friendship with his capping comment being that he should have been more considerate knowing that I’m “a sensitive person.”

Strike Two. Actually, way more than strike two. That would be the sound of the guillotine falling.

At least he didn’t blame my reaction on my having my period, but nonetheless, this is clearly my problem. And right now I’d like to call in a dose of mob mentality to rally some internet outrage against him. Yes, this would be the appropriate time to label my behavior as immature, but the thing is, I can’t seem to fend this guy off on my own, which has been my problem all along. He gets under my skin because I want him to understand.

But he never will. Never. I WILL NEVER GET WHAT I WANT. Which, in the simplest terms, is to be understood.

If only I could get my fat head to accept that, I might find myself free of this painful relationship. Yet now he is lobbying daily for our friendship, and every time I see his email address in my inbox, I tear up, because, as another friend pointed out, connection is very rare.

So I’m left struggling, and while I could simply block his emails, that wouldn’t solve my problem. I need him to move far, far away, to forget I ever existed and for me to do the same. We need an encounter with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, only that doesn’t work either. Rough as it is, these experiences create us. I am different for having met this man, and while right now different feels like worse, I can’t really be sure. Being so close to the experience, I have no perspective, just the hurt of disappointment. I’ve been instructed to try for anger and rage, but that just isn’t my default wiring.

I want to take back my ground here, and believe in the good that comes of the bad. That’s always been my philosophy, much to the dislike of many. But I do believe we can always find a positive. Sometimes, it just takes a little time. Like right now.


Anonymous said...

sunset this was funny poignant and beautifully written. i love that you wanted to incite web vigilantes to go after him...
hmmmmm.......... it's all very sad.
no wisdom to inpart on this one... but then i never have much of that (that's your domain...)
but am sure there will somehow be a positive out of this....

Emily said...

It is so sad to lose a friend! And it isn't written about very much. I had huge heartbreak from a lost friendship many years ago...it is given far less time then romantic break ups. I too believe something comes out of the bad...