Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Little Things

I knew the minute I started typing the first few letters that I was doing something I shouldn’t have been.  I guess the haphazard searches on Facebook before the New Year were not well thought out.  If I had just signed out of the account she blocked me from I would easily find the doorstep to the life of someone I used to know.

I felt fucking dirty. 

What in the hell was I doing? 

I had gone out of my way to bring my sorry ass up to New York for New Years and managed to find someone from my old job who would host me.  It was all for the sole purpose of delivering the note I wrote on the airplane, like I had done so many times before.  Fuck me did that ever blow up in my face.  Shortly after one in the morning I was stupidly arguing with her father via text message.  I don’t quite know what I was trying to prove to myself, but it didn’t serve its purpose.  I flew back from Philly later that week feeling like quite the fool.  I guess I wasn’t quite as resilient as I thought.

I didn’t give it much thought for the few months after that, why should I care about offending someone who cared so little for me?  I started thinking about it when her birthday came, for some reason we were all out and one of them made a foolish comment, “Here’s to the anniversary of the beginning of Pat’s trip back here.”  I left pretty shortly thereafter.  She had been in the back of my mind ever since.

It isn’t that I have some foolish thought in the back of my mind that we will somehow end up together.  I guess I have grown up a bit since I thought stupid things like that.  The thing that really bothered me was how someone who I had held in such high esteem and cared so much about could just do away with me on a moment’s notice.  No matter, in the end the only conclusion that allows me to live with myself is that I made an egregious set of mistakes that I must never repeat again…whether through self-isolation or some other method.

So that leaves me here, like a fool, looking her up on Facebook and wondering if I could find out anything more about her life these days.  I can’t fool anyone anymore, let alone myself; I miss her and wonder how she is.  I thought, for a fleeting moment, about writing her again.  The moment passed quickly when I played the tape through to conclusion.  I knew how she would respond, or rather how she would not respond.  The thought started to burn me once again.  I went out onto the back porch to smoke a cigarette, telling myself I should just go to bed and not bother writing any of this melodramatic shit down, but it didn’t seem I was ready quite yet.

I thought for a second how pathetic looking her up had been and as I pondered the slim odds that she had done the same I realized I was showing her the same disrespect I had exhibited from March 3rd when I arrived to the time she kicked me out of that life.  I guess I never could understand what she wanted, could I?  I worshiped her, but was so blind to what she needed and was so in denial that what I was up to hurt her so.  It hurts because I lost the only woman I’ve ever really loved and it hurts that the pain contributed to my acting so childishly and pursuing her when she clearly wanted nothing more to do with me.  I guess that was my ego getting in the way again, wasn’t it?

“I love her like no one on this earth,” I often rationalized to myself, “someday she will come around and feel the same.”  How very delusional and foolish that I would assume the world revolved around me in such a manner.  I suppose that was the problem all along wasn’t it?  It sucks that I lost my lover, it sucks even more that I lost a friend of her caliber.  It would not be smart to take up that search again, I don’t dare take the risk of hurting myself in such a manner again…more importantly I can’t run the risk of becoming tempted to interfere in her life again.  I guess maybe this is part of my growing up, but it is time to let her go…regardless of how much I do and always will love her.

I can’t lie though, I miss my friend and the mistakes I have caused and never been able to truly apologize hurt me so.  Forgiveness for them, however, is not mine to solicit or even deserve.  Tonight I finally realize that the respect she deserves is what she had asked for when this happened.

“Respect my wishes and never contact me again.”  

As much as it pains me, it is long past time to oblige.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

As Sweet as Bitter Gets

I’m not going to lie; I may or may not have had a bit too much to drink when the conversation got under way.  She had met up with us later in the night and the few Miller Lites she had left her in a good position to drop me and the boys off on our way back from the Blackbird.  We pulled up in front of Dan’s house, where I would be spending the night, and talked for a bit.  She had mentioned to me in the bar that she thought Dave was quite a good looking guy, which I promptly followed up with a text to him in the bathroom saying something along the lines of, “dude, Erin thinks you’re hot.  You should go for it.”  She was outside smoking when I came back out.  

“I wouldn’t go after her if you paid me; you’ve had a thing for her for nearly ten years.”

He definitely had a good point; there had been some small place inside of me that longed for her that entire time.  In hindsight I don’t really know why I told him to go for it, maybe I just wanted the possibility of her to be off the table once and for all.  After all, the boys and I have a strict agreement to never pursue one of our ex-girlfriends, which would effectively end it.  Granted, I thought I had already taken care of that when I told her I had feelings for her in college.

Apparently not.

So there we are, sitting in front of Dan’s apartment in the Jeep taking about the events of the evening.  I don’t quite know how the topic came up, but after a minute or two we were talking about what she had told me at the bar.  I told her how I told him what she said and that he responded that he wouldn’t try to go after her.  I could tell by the look on her face that his response was a bit of a shot to her pride, for some reason I felt the need to rectify it.  I told her that I wished I could tell her why he wasn’t interested (full well knowing that she would make me), it took a second but it came out.  Once it was out there I couldn’t get it back no matter how badly I wanted to.

“Dude, he doesn’t want to go after you because he knows that I’ve been in love with you for years.”


“Oh fuck, what did I just do,” I said as I felt some tears starting to well up in my eyes.  I didn’t know what to say, she just sat there looking out the window for a minute before she turned to me.  “Patrick, I love you too and I always have, I have just loved you as my brother all these years.”  It was the first time she had called me by my name in nearly 8 years; I had never heard such sincerity in her voice in our time as friends.  I don’t know if it was the stouts or the fact that I had been holding this feeling in for so fucking long, but the tears were flowing as soon as she finished speaking.  She said that she had no idea I had been keeping it in all these years, I guess she did what I asked her the last time I said it when I told her to forget I ever said anything.

At this point I have a million thoughts racing through my head, none more pressing than the fact that I may have just pushed the eject button on one of my most valued friendships.  Needless to say, at this point I was really feeling it.  She took off her seat belt, leaned over and put her head on my shoulder.  I had wanted this for so many years and I can’t deny the fact that it hurt(s) so badly knowing that this exact moment was the closest I would ever come.   

She put her arms around me and kissed my cheek and told me that she loved me and she knew how badly I was hurting.  “I’ve seen the pain in your eyes that I’m guessing you think you have pretty well hidden and I don’t want to be responsible for more.”  What could I say?  There was nothing…we just sat there, leaning over her stick shift and holding on to each other. 

She kissed me once more before I realized it was almost four, “I should probably get going,” I said.  I got out of the car and stood there watching her drive away and wondering what the hell I had just done.  Once inside I just sat there on the couch in the dark and after a minute texted her to say that I was sorry for putting her in the spot that I did.  A minute later she was asking me what spot and telling me that it was ok; she was the queen of not letting things get awkward.  I didn’t sleep very well that night.

I guess that this is about as sweet as bitter gets.