Saturday, March 26, 2011

Then What Do You Say?

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just lately I've experienced a sudden flood of re-connections with people from the past, with whom I haven't heard for ten, twenty, forty years. School reunions, war zone compatriots, students and mentors. Some old girl friends. It's quite nice, isn't it? Saying hello once again.

And after a few lengthy updates, what do you say? There is a reason this person wasn't in your daily life. Your commonalities ended. You went on with your life, and they proceeded to follow their own paths. What more can you say?

What changes a relationship? Usually, geography has a major bearing. It could be a job, jail, or attitude. Could be you're on the run, the rebound, a refugee inside your own skin. Maybe you wanted to sober up, make some new friends, a new circle, or entourage. Join some kind of group that already had people in it. Or maybe you went into a depressive funk and wanted people to please just leave you the fuck alone. Relate to that?

Besides physical relocation, what would it be if you were in near proximity...same town, same house, same idea, same T-Shirt, same kind of shoe. Different dynamics would be at work, no doubt. People would be playing race, class, and gender roles, with the circles becoming smaller and smaller, and why is that?

Turns out one day, you're sitting on your step, exhausted, and you look over at the dog. He ain't saying nuthin'...just looking back at you.

Now, THERE'S someone who understands you.

Did I tell you about going into the farm implement store in Nebraska for the third time, after the necessary part, and asking those guys behind the counter wearing company caps, white oval sewn-on name tags, blue shirts, and steel-toed work boots, 'You ever have one of those decades where every move you made...was wrong?'

That got their attention. '...nothing you could do...would please her...your boss...the cat.'

One of the guys turned to get the part. The older guy cut his eyes over at the boss when I said 'boss'. The younger guy, flipping through a parts catalog on the counter, looked up and gave me a look of comprehension when I said, 'her'.

It wasn't a comedy act. I wanted to see if they could relate. Maybe a decade is an exaggeration. Maybe it's not.


So, everybody's away, school, work, whatever they were doing, and everyone's pissed at you, it seems, or maybe you just had this awkward volatile misunderstanding, and it's just you and the dog there on the back step.

Could be you just lost your job, the argument, your composure, got fired, divorced, bad news from the DA, the doctor, the IRS; rent's due, got rejected, was runner-up. And you look around, and there's no one there but the dog. Facebook tells you, 'You have 0 friends.'

Or, could be, you're on top of your game and want to play frizbee.

Everything is working in your dream, and...there are those important to the dream, and those who are not. Simple as that.

So, for one reason or another, we lose touch with folks, everybody does. Significant at the time and place, we may hold an illusion those friendships will last forever, but change in time and place, and life's experiences tell us otherwise. We simply move on. Unless we don't.

And then you get an email from an old friend. After a few lengthy updates, what do you say? 'Look me up when you're in...fill in the blank. Hudson Bay. It would be good to see you.'

You stopped being my friend after you:

moved away
wouldn't answer my call, email, friend request, invoice.
sobered up
got transferred
got married
became famous
found Jesus
insulted me
got arrested
got a life
became a Republican
left me hanging
took sides
went back to the States
pressed charges
voted for Bush, twice
joined the opposition
fired me
testified against me on the stand
lost it on the back nine
screwed my best friend, old lady/old man, girlfriend/boyfriend
screwed me
screwed my bank account
stayed silent
found somebody else
became holy
found the truth
became the boss
got abducted

Why else do relationships end? Mostly it's because of geography, but it's interesting to explore some reasons, which, if we needed to get over, would allow us to write back. But after a few lengthy updates, what do you say?