mardi, janvier 24, 2012

The painful task of closing the door on friendship

Maybe a psychologist could explain.

Perhaps an evolutionary biologist (bonds mean survival) would hypothesize.

A faculty member in a sociology department might argue that I have a need to bond with others.

But whatever the reason, I rarely give up on friendships.

Until and unless I know that they are dead, I keep looking for a pulse.

The end of this one (if it is over) began with some major life stress.

The house under renovation -- a child running away from renovation. The children's dad facing and fighting cancer.

Last fall I was in the pits, a voyager through a few of the outer rings of hell -- or at least purgatory.

And I am not (hear this, God, please) a good candidate for purgatory. I like to know where I am -- to feel either the fire or clouds under my feet.

Long story short -- I was hurt by a friend's apparent lack of concern. I let her know, perhaps peevishly, via email.

A big mistake.

She took offense, and let me know, in words that stung.

I asked to hear her point of view. I confessed that I easily could have misinterpreted her behavior.

Again and again, I've reached out, reiterating my fondness for her and my hope that we can put this behind us.


The kind of silence that makes you wonder what existed to begin with -- and where you might have compromised for the sake of a peace that never perhaps existed.

But don't friends do that for each other?

Unsettling questions, these.

After more than twelve years of friendship, she remains just out of sight, leaving only enigma.

There's been no alcohol abuse at a party.

No husband-stealing.

No unbearable narcissism.

Just a stupid disagreement between two people who considered one another close friends.

I haven't given up hope.

In the meantime, I suppose that I have a lot of material to work on --beginning with myself.

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