I do believe I broke up with a friend tonight.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t do friends well. I really never have. Maybe it’s a touch of something wrong with my brain, maybe I’ve just got a short where my heart should be, maybe I really am a fucking cunt. I don’t quite know. All I know is that those hallmark-esqe loving relationships some women seem to have? I never have them.
I don’t much care too either.
I mean, there’s the occasional wonder about what the big deal is, and what I might be missing, but it all just seems like a lot of fucking work. Hurt feelings. Careful balancing of time for them versus time for other people. Lying-lying about how good that dress looks, if that purse is worth the 500.00 or if the recent boyfriend is good looking.
Sweet hell, it tires me out just thinking about it.
I don’t as a rule make friends with women, because I will inevitably disappoint them. I don’t remember birthdays. I cancel plans. I answer honestly if asked what I think of those shoes. I am an asshole.
But, in a moment of weakness, I made a friend last year. A friend I would hang out with fairly frequently, who was there for me and who I was there for, all that good stuff I suppose. I kept my mouth shut as I watched her basically chase her boyfriend away with neediness. I pushed myself to go out with her and her friends, despite my inability to socialize with anyone 25 or younger. I dealt with the weirdness.
But then, I fell in love.
I’m not good at balancing people. I’m not good at splitting my focus. I never have been-ask my oldest friend and she’ll roll her eyes and nod and bitch about how I’m just never consistent and she won’t hear from me for months.
And frankly, I’ve been fucking happy, feel like I’ve finally found a partner who meets me on equal ground, instead of me on theirs or them on mine. And I’m enamored and sparkly and fluttery and all those wonderful things, while at the same time stressed out about my mortgage and what to do with custody and figuring out what I truly truly want in my life. While working full time, and trying to have a little time for me.
I don’t have the fucking time or headspace to listen to someone without any responsibilities complain that they hate their life, while they do nothing to improve their life or lot. I don’t have the fucking time to explain, for the zillonth time that I don’t return calls cause I hate the phone, and that most of the time, it’s on silent and in another room and I don’t freaking even know someone called.
I don’t have the time to pretend anymore, because life has come to a roaring head, and most of all, I don’t have the time to pretend that I can’t tell that she hopes my relationship fails, and is jealous and bitter or…SOMETHING about the entire thing.
I don’t have it in me to have a friend who can’t understand the following is all so very true:
Your best friend falls in love
and her brain turns to water.
You can watch her lips move,
making the customary sounds,
but you can see they’re merely
words, flimsy as bubbles rising
from some golden sea where she
swims sleek and exotic as a mermaid.
It’s always like that.
You stop for lunch in a crowded
restaurant and the waitress floats
toward you. You can tell she doesn’t care
whether you have the baked or french-fried
and you wonder if your voice comes
in bubbles too.
It’s not women either. Or love
for that matter. The old man
across from you on the bus holds
a young child on his knee; he is singing
to her and his voice is a small boy
turning somersaults in the green
country of his blood.
It’s only when the driver calls his stop
that he emerges into this puzzle
of brick and tiny hedges. Only then
you notice his shaking hands, his need
of the child to guide him home.
All over the city
you move in your own seasons
through the seasons of others: old women faces
clawed by weather you can’t feel
clack dry tongues at passersby
while adolescente seethe
in their glassy atmospheres of anger.
In parks, the children
are alien life-forms, rooted
in the galaxies they’re grown through
to get here. Their games weave
the interface and their laughter
tickles that part of your brain where smells
are hidden and the nuzzling textures of things.
It’s a wonder that anything gets done
at all: a mechanic flails
at the muffler of your car
through whatever storm he’s trapped inside
and the mailman stares at numbers
from the haze of a distant summer.
Yet somehow letters arrive and buses
remember their routes. Banks balance.
Mangoes ripen on the supermarket shelves.
Everyone manages. You gulp the thin air
of this planet as if it were the only
one you knew. Even the earth you’re
standing on seems solid enough.
It’s always the chance word, unthinking
gesture that unlocks the face before you.
Reveals intricate countries
deep within the eyes. The hidden
lives, like sudden miracles,
that breathe there.
(Common Magic-Bronwen Wallace)
Emails were exchanged, and as usual, I am the asshole. Because I don’t try. Because I’m “basically dumping her for a guy”-because, I don’t know. Because I have said “this is who I am, and is who I have always been. Maybe I changed for a little bit, but I can only pretend for so long. This is me.”
I can accept that I’m an asshole. But then, I don’t get bloody excited when people in my life get distracted and fall off the earth for a little while either.
Someday, I question my vagina I really do.