What are friends for

I’m sad today. It’s not Rufus, I don’t think, but regular old something-sad-is-happening sad. 

I lost a friend a few months ago. She’s still walking the earth and such, but we aren’t friends anymore. It started over a simple misunderstanding that I thought would be easily worked out once we both calmed down and talked about it. But the friendship goddamn exploded and went down in flames, which to me means there was shit going on long before that incident. There was some discussion wherein we aired our grievances and I mostly sat there stunned, because we were very close and I thought she knew who I was and I very suddenly felt like she didn’t. That’s a weird, gut-wrenching experience, to be accused by someone you love of nasty things you would never think or do. I defended myself as best I could, and that was it. No closure, no nothing. Nada. Nyet. And I’m a person who likes closure. It’s been a few months now and we’ve seen each other socially a couple times because we know some of the same people, and it wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t easy. What I’m stuck on today is the part where we’re both pretending it’s fine. I mean, to be clear, it feels awkward as fuck when we see each other, but we’re both doing a bang-up job of acting outwardly like it’s all good. And I’m definitely not all good. I miss my friend. I don’t miss the arguments that sprang up sometimes and left me saying “what the fuck just happened,” but I miss my friend who I drank whole bottles of prosecco with and swapped hilarious/gross sex stories with and laughed myself silly with. I miss my friend who I told my worst secret and she didn’t bat an eyelash. We could text each other from work while crying in a bathroom stall and give each other pep talks to dry our eyes and go back out there and kick ass, or at least finish out the day with our heads held up. I miss my friend who I could trust with anything. It’s not that I don’t have other friends I’m close with and trust and would lay down in traffic for, but regardless of how many of those you have, it’s really fucking awful to lose one. I’m realizing that it’s not that dissimilar to the end of a dating relationship. You have to mourn it, and you have to gradually tell people and they’re all curious to know what happened and you want to sort of explain without speaking badly of the other person, because that feels like you’re disrespecting what you used to be to each other (and I do still respect her and care about her) and you just have to hope the other person is doing the same thing and not trashing you to your mutual friends, whom you’d really like to keep. 

I’ve accepted that the friendship is over. It’s beyond repair at this point and I don’t think it could go back to how it was even if we both wanted it to. Like I started to say before, I’m struggling now with the part where, much like in a romantic breakup, the other person seems fine and dandy without you and you feel like roadkill but have to pretend you’re fine and dandy too. And I know that appearances aren’t everything and maybe she feels like roadkill too. But I don’t get to see that part. I only get to see my part, and my part hurts really, really bad. Because even though I know I must be a pretty decent person because I have other friends who seem to like having me around, it was shocking how quickly and easily I (felt like) I got dropped. And how easy it is for me to stay dropped. That’s some harsh shit. I feel like the kind of person who deserves to be dropped utterly and completely and without preamble, AKA a really shitty one. And I truly never thought of myself that way. There’s no such thing as a perfect friend, but I have always tried hard to not be a bad one, or at least not such a bad one that someone had to walk away. Maybe she’s mistaken. I love her muchly and always will, but most of me thinks she’s mistaken.

But how can there not be a part of me that whispers, “What if she isn’t?”

3 thoughts on “What are friends for

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