Dear Old “Friend:”
I thought about our last interaction,
and how intolerant I was,
and had been with you for some time.
Perhaps my harshness seemed
out of hand,
and lacking in understanding.
You’re a good Christian man,
who aims to take the high road
And perhaps you feel I should have been more forgiving
of your overreaction
to something very minor.
I mean, a “true” friend would have been more considerate
of your feelings.
And you’d have every right to feel that way,
if we were friends.
But we hadn’t been friends in quite some time.
Let me explain.
The thinly disguised hints,
and the “subtle” reminders,
that you will always be “attracted” to me
in a deeper way
is not friendship.
Oh, I know that you’re wondering
why friendship and attraction
are mutually exclusive in my world.
Can you not truly care for someone,
and also be attracted to them?
Well, sure you can.
telling me you love me,
are in love with me,
and asking me to date you,
while you remained engaged,
is not friendship.
Insinuating that I should consider being your side-chick
is not friendship.
Oh, I know, you never “asked” that.
You suggested it though, in a way that,
had I bitten the bait,
it would have been MY idea.
You told me you loved me
at a vulnerable time in my life,
when I was calling out for love so loudly.
The vultures came swarming.
I was lucky enough to encounter one who would
drag me off to the side and,
pick at me,
but he did not devour me,
the way you would have if I had let you.
You came swooping in and telling me,
everything I wanted to hear,
and meant none of it.
I cannot imagine the horror I would have felt,
had I slept with you.
You wanted an answer
about whether or not
I’d make you wear condoms,
I said, “Yes.”
And then you weren’t sure all of a sudden,
that I was where you wanted to be,
because, you know,
joint bank accounts.
“It’s complex,” you said,
as is your latex allergy.
I’m so glad we never fucked.
Your sex might have been as weak as your
I was vulnerable,
fresh out of a long-term relationship,
wondering if anyone would love me.
And you told me I was the ONE.
You were ready to start over and take that leap with me.
This was the opportunity you had been waiting for!
I was finally single, and you were
But not really.
I believed you for a half a second.
But, you know,
joint bank accounts and stuff.
Co-home-ownership and cohabitation.
You and she inhabited a home you claim you were never at,
while you attempted to inhabit 2 bodies and hearts: hers and mine.
Let’s call it what it is:
a failed attraction.
I grew to lack compassion for you over time
I was tired;
tired of bearing the weight of people’s struggles
while in the midst of sorting out my own.
I did not have room to carry your bags
on top of my own.
Especially when I have worked so very hard
at unpacking my shit.
But ‘like’ attracts ‘like,’ they say.
Your abandonment issues + my abandonment issues =
Ah, that’s it.
Back to our last interaction.
You flipped out
over a misunderstanding.
You assumed ill intent on my behalf,
something I considered inexcusable
given the amount of time you’ve known me
and who I am.
And something I considered inexcusable
considering the bullshit you tried to pull.
HOW DARE YOU?
But at the same time I wasn’t surprised,
because this wasn’t new.
There was always something I said,
or didn’t say;
always something I did,
or didn’t do,
to merit your mistrust, time and time again,
despite my best efforts
and despite my good heart.
I could have paused to take into consideration
your abandonment issues
when you pointed your finger at me
for the umpteenth time,
and accused me of being,
or not being,
the opposite of whoever it was
you felt I need to be at the time.
I could have coddled you;
gone out of my way to assuage you;
to reassure you I meant no harm;
to explain myself;
to rectify the situation,
in the very same way a battered woman
goes out of her way
to calm her abuser down,
because she should know by now
what sets him off,
so it’s her fault for making him angry.
I could have taken that stance,
but, I realized it would be pointless.
That’s the route I’ve taken in the past,
to no avail.
We’d been down that path before.
There weren’t enough, “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant,”s
to prevent the accusations or
the “You hurt me”s
flying from your lips.
This is who I am.
Who I am,
Why are you here, then?
Why did you fight for space here?
You studied me,
You’ve never taken the time to understand me.
I can’t count how many times
you’d throw an observation about me
in my direction,
and it would fly so far left,
I couldn’t grasp it.
You studied me
because you read between my lines
through the lens of your fixation.
What you called “love”
And quite possibly still believe is love
(or maybe nah, now that you’ve found “true love”)
I recognize as a fixation;
an “attraction of deprivation.”
(I just learned that phrase recently.)
If you had really understood me,
there were actions you would not have taken,
and things you would not have said.
But you did hurtful things,
and made promises you did not keep,
and did not stand up for me the way
I have stood up for you.
I have stood up for you in plain sight,
not behind closed doors
and in “inboxes.”
As I mentioned before,
I’ve been unpacking my bags,
and I found we carried similar belongings
See, I didn’t care for you,
I cared for HIM
Your inner child.
I loved the child,
not the man.
Because that’s what I feel
when I interact with you.
I feel the child.
I feel what he needs.
I’m not here to psycho-analyze you,
I’m just being honest.
Our inner children played well together,
hell they even carry the same ‘toys,’
but we carry our shit differently.
I love him, that little boy.
I really do.
But I never loved you.
We have always known
we are not right for one another.
And so you were right
to take it all back;
You were right to offer me the world one day,
and change your mind the next,
because it wasn’t me who wanted it,
it was my inner child.
“Attractions of deprivation.”
I understand your complexities,
even if I don’t accept them
Because that little girl,
she’s all grown up now.
I took the time to raise her.
And she’s all grown up now.
Dear Old “Friend:”