Words with Friends

When the phone rings and you find out your friend for over twenty years is in need, you spring into action, regardless of how tired you may be. Yes, even though you’ve been up since the crack of dawn and driven through the thick of Philadelphia traffic no less than three minutes before your phone rang, you hop back in the car and go pick him up. You know the next morning you’ll beat the sun up to make sure he catches the first flight home to his wife and kids, regardless of how late you guys stay up or how exhausted you may be.

The initial embrace erases the years and miles between your lives and suddenly you fall back into place like it was 1995 all over again. It feels great to catch up and just talk, laugh about where you’ve both ended up, about people you used to know. Introducing him to the woman you’re spending the rest of your life with is a moment neither of you ever thought would come, but is a testament of how far you’ve both come. You’ve come so far that jokes from the mid-90’s are hilarious to you, but lost on the third person in the room. Over drinks you shoot the breeze and watch football like you used to do, until he falls asleep, snoring and drooling…just like 1995! You drape a blanket over him, cut off the lights and head to bed and remember the times as you try to fall asleep.

That’s your friend

If you have to go through two people to get my BlackBerry PIN and then hint around asking about an invitation to my wedding, but didn’t know I’ve been living in Philly for nearly a year, we’re not really friends. Not anymore. There was a time when we were thick as thieves, but time and your behavior has driven a wedge between you and practically all of your friends. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point your relationships became need-based and most of the people in your life aren’t the type to be taken for granted, but you insisted on calling only when you needed or wanted something from one of us.

I love you, I just don’t like you anymore, I don’t like who you’ve grown up to be. It’s a shame that we’ve known each other since briefs and training bras, but we don’t really know each other now. Thinking back, I can’t remember a time when you ever extended yourself for anyone, but folks were seemingly always bending over backwards to help you…but you’ve broken too many backs for anyone to stand next to you now.

You were my friend 
I feel like if I don’t have this talk with you, no one ever will, but you need to hear it… your craziness is driving me crazy! I find it increasingly difficult to talk to you these days because it seems as if you don’t hear anything anyone says. I don’t understand what you want, from me, from anyone, though I know you want something. It’s almost as if you expect the world to stand still and wait for you to get your stuff together so you can catch up. We’re old enough to know that’s not the way things work, but if we knew all the things we were old enough to know, I wouldn’t be writing this.

I know you’re wanting for a relationship, but first you have to commit to yourself and I haven’t seen a true effort at that in years. It’s like you intentionally sabotage any sort of happiness you that creeps into your life and replace it with expectations that almost always bring some sort of sadness into your life. I love you, just the way you are and have always been, but everyone doesn’t have to accept the you that you are and I’m not sure if you get that part. Your neurosis is not something you can expect someone to deal with; your insecurities are too weighty for people to bear, despite the beauty of your love. It may hurt to hear, but I had to tell you and if I can’t talk with you about these things, who can?

You are my friend


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