On Killing Friends…
There are straws that break the camel’s back. There are indecipherable mysteries. There are shades of grey in between.
What causes attraction to die over 30 years? We once leaned into each other’s words like they were life’s sustaining flame, nectar of the gods, windows to our own soul. Now,… meh?? Not so much.
Did I not give enough? Probably. The calculus of reciprocity was lost on me. Everyone recalculates. What am I getting out of this relationship? I don’t like the complaining. I don’t like the contradictions, condescensions and belittling. I don’t like his politics. Will he ever shut up and tire of hearing himself? Can he allow me any room to be me?
Where did I kill it? Did I didactic it to death?
Or is this just the way things happen? We grow apart. We share less, and drift… like families of salamanders, separated at the base of a mountain range, each taking the road less traveled, only to meet at the other end of the range in 2000 years, unable to mate, prepared to kill an ancestor in which we no longer recognize ourselves. Have we speciated?
Or did I stab it in the heart? Friend, decide: was it friendicide?
Sometimes you see the train coming before it hits you. Others? Surprise!
Were they telling me all along and I was oblivious? Or did I miss some universally recognizable signal that my antenna is just, simply, not tuned to?
Why do I care? Each friend lost is an amputation of a former me. A receptacle and reservoir of stories about the “me” I once was. No one else can tell that me, like he. That “me” will not be fully dead until he is, but might as well. The story will never be told again. Not with a laugh. Not with a trace of nostalgia. Only with a “Can you fucking believe when he…”
Was it a straw, or a mystery?