A letter

One of the things that I've realized over the past few days is that I can longer afford to waste time wishing I could find the courage say certain things to people with whom I have had disagreements with in the past. I'm 50, and as my recent health crisis has shown me, life holds no guarantees. I don't want to go into the next world with a lifetime of regrets and issues that hold me back from God. Not only that, I would like to spend my remaining years here on this planet living usefully, in whatever way God sees fit. I don't know what that entails yet, but I'm hoping writing and teaching are somehow involved. I really don't like to do much of anything else on a professional basis. I love astrology and looking at the more mystical aspects of everyday life, but making a career of those activities makes me shudder with revulsion. It's just not right for me.

I've been sensing that I need to clear out some stuff that I tossed over to the side because I'm afraid to look at it. This needs to be done before I can plainly see my career path, or at least the next step. I would be happy with just one step, actually. That would be more reassuring to me right now. Actually, I'm supposed to check out things out with my recovery fellows before leaping into something that could potentially endanger my abstinence. I've always overestimated my ability to handle situations (there's that pride and ego issue), and forged ahead regardless of the circumstances or consequences. I admit to being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and doing something new or outside of the box always appeals to me. Besides, I have a bum left hip and lower back, so my body in its current condition isn't conducive to bungee jumping or sky diving. So, win, lose or draw, I'm gonna do this thing.


We aren't friends. I wish we were, but I know better than to put a whole lot of stock in my wish box these days. I need to say what I couldn't say before without resorting to passive language, metaphors or any other allegorical convention that obscures my meaning. I don't have any other way to express these things to you except through this blog, and I want to get this over and done.

I never, ever held any romantic ideas or plans for a future with you. I kept saying that, and you didn't believe me. It was wholly impractical from my point of view, and probably from yours, too. I don't know why you couldn't believe me, but that's your issue. For my part, I got caught in trying to figure out why you kept accusing me of lying about how I felt, and I fell into a very old co-dependent pattern of trying to soothe a man's emotions. That was my mistake right there. I lost my certainty, my own truth. It's a sobering reminder that at any time I can have a co-dependent relapse and start trying to fix other people instead of keeping my eyes on my own side of the fence.

Sure, I felt a lot of affection and affinity for you. And I would even call it "love". But it was a different kind of love, one that had no definition and no promise of a future. It is what it is, and I was comfortable accepting it that way. However, you seemed to need a category, one that made you feel at ease. That's one of the many differences we had between us due to age and life experience. I've lived long enough to know that so much of life defies category. That is my experience, and I should have shared that with you so you could at least get some point of reference about where I'm coming from. I also knew that some people come into our lives for a very brief period of time to help us learn and grow to become better human beings. I knew that from the very beginning, at City College. But as I said, I got caught up in your view the relationship and trying to understand it. Now I see that I was asking the impossible of myself. We come from totally different places. Understanding isn't possible, but acceptance is.

I was wrong to act as if you had the same amount of life experience as I do. Even though you express yourself in ways that make you seem much older, the truth is, you aren't. Time and experience can't be substituted with words. I know that, and as the older friend, I should have spoken up. But I assumed that you would figure it out on your own. I regret that now. Things might not have spiraled downward so badly if I had at least said, hey, I've been acting as if you are a middle aged person like me, with all the experience and knowledge that comes with living a couple of extra decades. Logically, I knew you were much younger, but somehow I associated your uncannily precise of use of language and sophisticated ideas to be the same as time on Earth. But you know the cliche' about hindsight. It definitely applies to me.

The last thing I want to say is that I truly felt we were at LEAST friends. That was my assumption the night I revealed to you a painful childhood flashback, and you seemed comforting and understanding. I was in a very emotionally vulnerable state at that time, and I never imagined that what I told you would become fodder for what I now perceive as a betrayal of trust. You probably have no idea what idea what I'm talking about, do you? "Just A Note For You/Y'all?" It didn't mean anything to you, but it did to me. That was foul. Obscenely foul and uncalled for. I didn't deserve that. You again made assumptions about MY thoughts and feelings concerning you, then used words that you knew would cause pain because of what I told you two months earlier. Or maybe you didn't know that. Maybe you just wanted to be as callous as possible. Scumbag move, regardless. Don't do that to anyone else. You won't get the chance to do that to me again, but don't ever cut another woman low like that in the future. I will know it the very moment you do, and I won't be happy about it. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Overall, I learned a lot about myself through all this, and I believe I'll become a better person for it. I now realize that I have definite limits, and I have a better idea of what I need to do to take care of myself BEFORE those limits are violated. And I've cut way down on the time it takes me to get to "instant forgiveness." I'm not there yet, but I'm making progress. At least I know it won't take me twenty years.
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