Thursday, July 15, 2004

simple power...  


It's all words.

Words on a screen, words over the phone, words exchanged with nothing more than the air - and an exercise machine - between you.

You're both reasonable. You have your points of view, both of which are equally valid. As are the emotions informing those points of view. Even when there's no rhyme or reason to the emotions, there's no denying their validity and you both recognize that.

Yes, the two of you are so g-ddamned reasonable, rational. Why couldn't he be a fucking asshole? Why can't you be a raving bitch? It seems like it would make everything so much easier.

But that's not the way either of you operate. If he were an asshole you wouldn't love him the way you do. If you were a bitch he wouldn't care about you so much. Because in the end, under all the conflicting emotions - the love you feel that he doesn't reciprocate, the pain he feels for being the cause of your current unhappiness - there is a deep abiding bond of friendship and trust and, yes, love (the love of very dear friends) between you that has sprung up over the last year.

A year? Has it only been a year? Somehow it feels as if he's been an integral part of your life forever, and not just because you knew each other a little bit as teenagers.

Finally you make a decision. As you type out that decision your fingers tremble because you can't believe you're actually writing the words you've thought about - off and on - since the previous October.

He responds. He understands. He agrees and says you should set the pace. As you read his words a strange feeling comes over you - a little bit like hyperventilation, even though you swear you're not breathing at all.   And you're glad you're sitting down, because you're not sure your legs would be able to support you.

Let's take a breather, you proposed. A couple of months apart so that you can sort out your head and your heart without the distraction of him. You say that the occasional e-mail is fine, so that you each know that the other is doing okay, and you say that you'll continue to throw computer work his way, because the way things are shaping up at your new job, it looks like he's become the go-to person for local computer consulting. Other than that, no hanging out. That way, no scrambling of brains for you. And then, after two or three months away, when you feel you're ready, the two of you get together again, with a hopefully stronger and more even-keeled friendship.

Of course he agrees. He's reasonable. Like you. But reading that hurts because, for some inexplicable reason, you suddenly feel as if you and he are breaking up. Which is patently silly because you're not in a romantic relationship. And you're going to see each other again in a few months, right? He's promised to cheer you on during your half-marathon in October and you fully intend on making him keep that promise.

But it still hurts. Because the thought of purposefully staying away from him feels like a knife in the gut, even though the both of you know it's for the best. Especially if you want to continue this friendship until the two of you are old and decrepit and chasing after each other with snapping false teeth in hand as fast as your elderly spindly legs will carry you. After all, you're never too old to act twelve.

And you're never too young to do the mature thing, the right thing to keep the friendship going. Even if it hurts at first.

Especially if it hurts. Because past the hurting is the healing. And the power of hurting and healing lie behind simple...


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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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