Monday, September 10, 2007

Friends and Time

I had one of those moments with a friend of mine the other day that left my ego in a uproar. Being not only of the "blame America first" but "blame myself first" crowd, I got an earful about my loutish behavior three nights previous. Essentially he said he didn't appreciate my drunkenness (fair I guess although no one but he complained) and that he expected to have a conversation with me and that was his only recompense given that he didn't dig the band we were seeing that much. Not his cup of tea. I apologized and basically said it was OK, even useful for him to give me a mini-lecture on the value of our friendship. Bye-bye.

After getting over the initial adrenaline shock of being told I was bad, I began to do the math. Granted, he had to chauffeur me back to his abode without me being awake, a daunting task no doubt. Probably took 90 minutes. Say 2 hrs. Of course there was the fact that I wasn't really into hearing about his issues with my usual carefulness on the way up. He had to go to his therapist, a late addition to our itinerary that pushed back our arrival time to the venue to about 20 minutes before they started. He did try to call me the day before with this knowledge but the week before when I asked him if he'd like to go, there was no awareness of this previously scheduled meeting. No big. And yet since others were involved and we had originally planned to met them for some ya ya's before showtime this was not ideal. And things need to be ideal, you no doubt believe.

I asked him what the point of therapy was given that he seems pretty OK to me. Successful business, although you wouldn't know it from his equivocating, some friends, a warm place to shit etc. But no long term relationship and I know this is a biggy. Therapy will be continued, he intoned, as long as the LTR eluded him. And then he dropped me off in the lobby of his health club so he could take a shower.

LTR's are dandy, I love mine. I'm sure that my boy will get his just as soon as he remembers that loving someone by definition requires putting their needs in front of your own, at least some of the time. Now I'm not saying I needed to get drunk but wtf, it was a damn rock concert and the sonics of the place needed a bit of beer so the volume wouldn't cause pain. Ah, no excuses. But its kinda ironic that the very thing we both need is a little bit of consideration for the other. I get this. I hate to say it but I'm not sure if he ever will.

No reason to dog pile, and I hope that he's smart enough to think about why he got pissed off at me and put it into some sort of context. Let's see, I change my whole day for him and he thinks he's doing me a favor by going in the first place. I ditch work early, I initiate the whole scenario, and bring him a composter and a car stereo to boot. Were is the love? I looked in a beer glass for something predictable I guess.

Years and years of this type of behavior, not the drinking, the making time so that we have a relationship in the first place, going to his shop, his building, and never so much a one trip to my house, these things don't matter until that moment when they do. The larger question for me, besides AA, is that I do this shit all the time. I connect, reconnect, reconnoiter, write, pester, remind and maybe this shit is getting old. Most folks who get married, have kids, get a mortgage etc do a real fine job of getting rid of their old friends. I am shitty at getting rid of old friends. If I ever went to war with you ya got a couch to sleep on, literally or metaphorically. How the fuck can it be any different?

I married better than most. I have actually spent some amount of time being introspective, and I know shit from shinola, give or take a couple of things. Some times when I am arguing with somebody about history the only way I can get their attention is to point out that I, unlike them, did my homework. I did my relationship homework and my buddy never did. I've got time and he doesn't now, because he's busy catching up on how to love. I really hopes he meets his deadline.

As you can see I'm not really ready to forgive him yet. My brother must feel something akin to this about me as he no longer talks to me. My offense was I asked him why the heck didn't he call me back when I was in town one day years and years ago and he musta felt kinda like I felt Sunday morning. Shit happens, and I said I didn't have time for his shit. So I'm off the team. I sure as hell don't plan on doing this to my friend, 40 years knowing somebody would be a terrible thing to waste but we did have a falling out once before over his "born-again" phase and my intolerance of his ignorance/arrogrance. Ah well, something to think about anyway. I'll end by quoting the band playing the soundtrack for this misunderstanding:

sadly I remain in need
all you do is talk
help yourself don't think
help yourself don't speak
help yourself don't say a thing at all
your lucky words don't bleed

1 comment:

ibfamous said...

all of us have holes to fill
some of those holes are for real
and most are of our own making

Townes Van Sandt
(sometime before he died of alcoholism)