Definitely: Or, Why I’ve Been The Way I’ve Been
Part Two of Two
Read part one.
I may have mentioned before that, all of my smartassedness and sarcasm aside, I’m sort of naïve when it comes to human interaction. That’s a lie: I’m a blind, deaf and dumb infant when it comes to human interaction. If you tell me that we’re going to the zoo tomorrow, and we wake up and there's 3 feet of snow on the ground and tornadoes in the forecast, we’re still going to have to thoroughly discuss this whole not-going-to-the-zoo anymore thing. If you loved me once, and called me pet names and made plans to be with me in the future and sang songs with me in the car and stroked my hair when I cried and stayed awake just to watch me sleep, I am going to have a hard time understanding 1) that you just suddenly stopped, but more than that, 2), that you honestly don’t miss me, on any level. I mean, seriously. Okay, so you don’t love me anymore. Ouch. But come on: we both know we were the best friends either of us ever had, for several years, and now you never wonder how I’m doing, or what I’d say about this movie, or oh, remember when we used to say this one funny thing? Yeah, that was a good time. How’s your family? Cool. OH WAIT. WE DON’T DO THIS.
The whole time I spent caught up in my new distractions, part of my brain honestly but mistakenly thought I was getting over my heartache, and this person. I was busy with other things, but every once in awhile I’d think, man, fuck him (anger! healthy, necessary), or aw, he was nice sometimes (acceptance, moving on!). And then I had these other, less significant distractions of the heart to deal with, but once I’d dealt with them, my thoughts turned to the old boy, and I had the worst idea ever: You know, we should be friends.
This could only end badly.
I have no game, so when I like someone and I want to let them know, I tend to say things like, “Hey! I like you!” So when I had the idea to strike the friendship back up with the boy who broke my heart, I let him know by saying things like, “You know, sometimes I miss knowing you!” Huh! How about that! So we were in contact again. This meant that I would write him an email if I thought of something funny I thought he’d enjoy, and he would call me and hold up his cell phone while at the concert of a band we both liked. No big deal. After one of these phone calls happened in the middle of a party at her house and I sat on her bathroom floor for an hour with my hand over one ear so I could hear him, my wise friend Erin said, “Um, people don’t just call people they used to date to play songs over the phone unless there’s still something going on there.” And I would scoff at her. Dude, we’re just friends now. I don’t feel that way about him anymore. Scoff scoff scoff.
I was a big scoffer, until the night I got another phone call interrupting another party, one of those parties where there’s no one there you’re trying to impress, just all of your favorite people in the world telling funny stories and singing GnFnR, and you’re not worried about reapplying your lip gloss or trying to look fetching, you’re just sitting there relaxed and happy in the big golden glow of your friends’ faces, and then your phone rings, and it’s your ex-boyfriend, and you go in the other room to hear him better, and he’s calling to complain to you about girl problems. And maybe you’ve had a little to drink, so you grit your teeth and try not to feel like you’ve been slapped, and hang up quickly and go home and take a bath, and your mind is racing, and when he calls back an hour later and asks how you are, you say in a deathly even tone, “Do you really want to know how I am?” And man, he should have said no.
When I finally got off the phone, I suddenly was faced with several bleak realities: The sun was coming up. I was due to drive my parents to the airport in an hour. And I was obviously not over this person yet.
That’s when I wrote the note to myself.
After a few days, I decided that I was just going to have to do the American thing and repress those emotions so I could continue living my life.
That didn’t work out so well.
Especially when I moved, and everything was new and different, and I spent a lot of time reaching back to the familiar, which meant several late night text message conversations. One time he was very kind and supportive, and exactly what a good friend should be, and I thought, hey, maybe this can work! But the last time, he was curt and brusque, so I, being my usual un-suave and frank self, asked him point-blank if he really cared whether or not we were friends. His typed answer: “I just need to get up early. This is definatley one of those things you shouldn’t take so seriously.”
And lying there in the dark, nervous and alone on my inflatable bed in a new city at 3 in the morning, it hit me: why was I wasting my time reaching out to someone who had no interest in reaching back? And obviously hadn’t for some time: the breakup probably should have been my first clue. And above all, why was I wasting energy caring about someone who not only didn’t give a fuck about me, but couldn’t even spell the word definitely?
My friend Joey tells me that I expect too much of some people, expect them to give as much as I do, and that I come on full force, and not everyone’s ready to handle that. I understand that. No, fuck that: I don’t, really. I’m not saying that I’m the best thing someone could ever have, because I know better than anyone that odds are, I’m not. I’m not saying that I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t want me – I wake up with myself every morning: I can think of several reasons why someone wouldn’t want me. But I do not understand how someone can be a huge part of your healthy, happy adult life for so long, and then never want to again in any way. However, I can learn to recognize that someone just isn’t interested in being a part of my life, and leave it alone.
I don’t regret how any of this went, really. I regret very few things, mostly because I’ve seen Back to the Future enough times to know that, had things gone differently, I wouldn’t be the person I am now, and I’m not adventurous enough to take on a different present me. And while the “ah, what the hell” period of my life might need to be tempered with some grace and planning now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, or that I haven’t learned amazing things from living it.
I don’t know if I was still in love, or just had the leftover feelings to deal with. I can’t promise you that some secret chamber of my heart isn’t still a little sad. But I do know that I was tired of feeling this way. I was tired of one-sided friendships, and missing people who didn’t miss me back. I was tired of measuring all new men up to this one past man, who honestly, at one point, was really the very best man I’d ever known, but what kind of best man you’ve ever known can’t even be bothered to care anymore? Not a man who’s worth my heartache.