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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm sorry. Eleven Years Too Late

We met in high school and sort of got put into that same social group of misfits and outcasts. You had such a strange personality and at times I even felt that I couldn’t connect on your level. Even your name was different than any I had ever known. Yet, there was more going on there beneath the surface, but I was too stupid and immature to realize just how unique an individual you really were. For all your quirks and unashamed security in how you presented yourself, I, like most people, simply chalked it up to you just being a little weird. I’m sorry it took 11 years to realize it.

The times that I didn’t have my head up my ass were fun. Regardless of your style, you made it worthwhile. There was the games of hide and seek, or a variant of such, in your old Victorian home that kept us all laughing until our sides hurt. Once, we came to your place and just sat out on the roof watching the trains go on by through the neighborhood. You let me call your parents by your personal nicknames for them. I’m sorry I took advantage of your friendship.

We would watch crazy movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Clue at your house. Sometimes I would wonder how someone could love Rocky Horror as much as you did? You had several versions of the soundtrack and I thought that odd. Yet, in my own personal library I have multiple versions of the Star Wars movies in various formats and I don’t find that out of the ordinary. I’m sorry I was a hypocrite.

When you needed someone most, I didn’t see it. You had a rough time with a relationship and even after it imploded, you gave me and other friends all the liquor from the wedding that never was. We spent that summer driving around with a floating bar, always remembering to put more ice in the trunk until we finished the beer. We had that party at that lodge in the woods and I bartended with your booze. I’m sorry I didn’t make you another drink.

We hung out in small amounts and sometimes I felt that best. I was such a prick. Anybody in this world should be happy to have a friend call them even when they would rather not be bothered. I’m guilty just like everyone in the world, perhaps more so, because I could see what I was doing. I wasn’t oblivious, I just choose to continue the practice. You would call, and I would either be busy or wouldn’t answer the phone. It’s not that I think I was that important, but you were. You deserved my time and I didn’t give it. I would have rather sat at home in silence or with the inane blaring of a show on television that I half ignored than hear your voice and your thoughts. You wanted to hang out and I acted like I was too busy for you. I didn’t even have a job at the time. I had all the free time in the world, yet I couldn’t be bothered. I’m sorry I didn’t answer you.

Then it all stopped. You were somewhere in the world and I was in my own place. You were a picture in a yearbook or an anecdote that I would pull out when I would talk about my old life. Maybe you finally realized I wasn’t worth it. I mean, how dare I believe that my presence would be uplifting or warranted. Maybe you were happy I was so far on the peripheral that the thought of our time together was a footnote when you heard a song or watched a movie. I’m sure there were other people who saw what I didn’t and they took the time. Now, I’m probably extremely arrogant or pretentious to assume that my friendship was anything special. The fact that I’m even writing this, now, means I think having me as a friend was worth something and that’s a pretty big showing of testicular fortitude on my part. It wasn’t until 11 years went by and then someone, who I hadn’t spoken to in nearly as long, said you were sick and that there probably wasn’t much more time left. Suddenly, I could make time. Finally, I got it. I had decided that I had been stupid and should come see you. I’m sorry I didn’t.

I can make 1000 excuses as to why I didn’t. The biggest was that I was embarrassed. I should be the last person you would want to see. Where was I? Like every other time you were in my life for one reason or another, I dropped the ball. There’s always tomorrow, right? At one time or another we probably both had that same thought. Maybe not at the same time but more than likely we both looked ahead at our future and figured there would always be more time for everything. You got robbed. I’m sorry I have time and you don’t.

I was so wrapped up in my own self indulgent bullshit that I could never find five minutes to get in touch with someone who I used to call my ‘friend’ without pausing. I threw that term around like I had a sense of entitlement. I didn’t put nearly enough time into what that word meant. Now I don’t have that chance. No, not chance, privilege, honor, freedom, pleasure. Any number of words could describe what your friendship meant and that is gone. I’m sorry I let you go. I’m sorry I was an asshole. I’m sorry you took a chance on my sorry ass. I’m sorry you got sick. I’m sorry you died. I’m sorry Margd.

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