Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Long Time Coming...

...this post is. Since December, I guess? And I've been debating this a long time, mulling it over, keeping it in, trying to be understanding, giving my self space to figure it out, trying to overcome it. But it's been festering. A bloody gaping wound gone gangrenous.

I'm good for a letter or an email to someone I care about, if something they've done has upset me. If I'm REALLY upset and I REALLY care about you and I'm trying REALLY hard to work it out, you might get several emails. The scrub got several. But I debated a letter to you, because I knew it would bring a response, and I'm not really sure I want a response. I don't want to hear you rationalize yet again, or lie any more than I already suspected you were. Beside, writing directly to you would mean that I was going to continue to try to be fair, because one thing about my letters... I try to see both sides. I try not to attack without the offer of a solution. But I'm not sure there is a solution. As a matter of fact, after debating this in myself for six months I think the only solution is for me to leave you alone. This whole thing bothers me that much.

See, you really, profoundly hurt me. He isn't the issue. He's a scrub... like the proverbial snake that bites the hand that saved it from the wagon wheel, I knew he was a snake when I picked him up. He's a scrub, riding in his best friend's ride, trying to holler at whatever moves. And after spending some time with him, and hearing his stories, in my heart I knew the shit was going to blow up on me. "How they find you is how they leave you..." if they have a particular pattern, and they've over 25, there's a pretty good chance they're going to continue that pattern. But I fell in love anyway. I knew it would blow up on me, but I took the chance.

And in part, I took the chance because of you. "Go for it," you said, "you never know." And no, I didn't fall just because of you... I fell because I was very lonely, confused, and had just ended the six-year-war. And I'm guessing you're in pretty much the same place I was though your war is only beginning. I wanted my Happy Ever After, after all that hell. But it's not like I fell with no help... I'm a sucker for long talks on the deck at night, or sunbathing naked on a hot summer day, foot rubs, riding in a car with the windows down and the music blasting, cuddling on the beach... and he gave me those things. He made me remember what it was like to love someone you were friends with. My heart needs to think that those things happened because there was something there, and my head didn't need to be reminded he was simply a great manipulator. And lately, every time I see you I am reminded what an asshole I was.

I started to fall before the big trip.... but on that big trip I lost complete control of my heart and down I went, and you were the one I called to tell. I remember you asking me "Does he feel the same way?" and I said, "I don't know... I don't care. Because I know how I feel." And then we got back and the fairy tale turned into the darkest hell... again you were the one I called. Because you were the only one who really knew how far I'd fallen. And you held me up. And in my mind, I owed my heart to you.

Jesus. I still can't look at pictures from that trip... I took them all down off of Flickr, I deleted them off my harddrive. They're on a CD, though... waiting for the time I can go through them again but it's been two years and I still can't. I know that two years later, I've got the better deal. I AM in love with my best friend. I DO have a man I trust implicitly. He believes in loyalty. He loves me. I love him and trust him; even around you.

But still, when I remember how I crawled through Black August I can still cry. I know I must have a been a pain in the ass. I know you, along with everyone else, felt I was dumb for even believing, given that he was a scrub and a snake, and that made it worse. Eventually though, I made peace with myself. I even made peace with him. I had only asked two very specific things of him: Don't treat me like you treat your bitches, and when he broke that one I knew he'd break the other which was don't fuck my friends. I was prepared. I just didn't think it would be you. And it wouldn't have mattered so much if it was anyone but you. Because you saw me bleed. You read my pain on this blog. You knew how torn apart I was.

Because I considered you a sister. Although now that I think about it, it's appropriate, I guess, given his previous patterns. He knew I thought of you as family. Men mostly come and then go, but good girlfriends are a gift to be treasured, and I never thought you of all people, would be weak enough to sell me out.

Loyalty is a big thing to me. People suck. The world sucks. 95% of the people you meet don't REALLY care how you are when they ask. The other 3% are only marginally interested and if you're lucky, you'll find 1% of the world who really gives a shit about you. And those are the people you hold close, and don't fuck over. If they have idiosyncrasies, you deal with it.

My friend BeautifulHair had a thing for being called on her birthday. Two years ago Black August turned into GreySeptember and two days after her birthday I realized I'd forgotten it. I called her and left her a message, rather rambling, because I didn't want to burden her with my hell.

I didn't hear from her for months, and when I finally sat down and wrote her an email, mad at her because it was obvious I'd done something to piss her off and didn't know what it was, she wrote me back and told me. I had forgotten her birthday.

On the surface, it might seem stupid... but I'd known that was her "thing" and I had a made a point to honor that "thing". So I couldn't get mad at her for that... but I did get mad at her that after 15 years of friendship, she would assume I'd forgotten her birthday because it was unimportant to me, rather than thinking maybe I was trying not to commit myself to a mental hospital and hadn't gotten around to calling her. We haven't spoken since.

Friendships--even 15 year friendships--are just that fragile. A friendship only a third that old needs to be nurtured and cared for.

A friendship, like any relationship, must be made up of equal parts love, trust and respect, and those parts must always be in proportion to each other. To have one of those parts goes missing makes it hard for a friendship to survive.

So I love you... this wouldn't have hurt so bad if I didn't. I've wrestled over this bullshit for six months. Although "this morning I woke up and found I didn't care for you no more..." And today I don't think I love you anymore. I lost an awful lot of respect for you as a woman, and as a friend. And I damn sure don't trust you anymore... and I don't think I ever will. Because not only did you betray my trust and my heart, you lied. Looked me in the eye and swore it was a flash in the pan, something you needed, an abnormality. You were sorry. It was over and wouldn't happen again. But I don't believe you.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt because I'm a friend. I struggled and questioned forgiveness because I'm a friend. My spideysense went off and I saw things I didn't want to see, but I went on your word.

My gut never lies and unlike you I trust myself. I've been through hell and back and battled demons and fought wars, and I trust me. I trust what I feel.

And the other day, Monday, was the straw that broke the camels back. The tinglies started upstairs, and as I was coming down the staircase my senses were raging. Your name was on my lips and I was set to go home and delete you off FB for no good reason other than my alarms were going off, struggling with myself over the rationality of my feelings. I got to the bottom of the staircase with your name raging in my head, opened the staircase door and bumped right into you. And the look on your face told me everything I already know:

You're a liar. You're weak. You want every one to like you. You crush on people, absorb everything they are, do everything they do until you hit upon something of theirs that you can't do. Because you're not them. And instead of embracing the things in someone else that you can't do, can't imitate, and instead of developing your own many unique talents, you turn and walk away. And justify it, rationalize it by saying you can only have one friend at a time. You say your open and honest, and treat people with respect. But you're not open... you're not honest. If you were open you could share in things that you're not good at because you'd be open enough to enjoy that someone else can. If you were honest you would have told things long before I had to find them out on my own. If you treated your friends with love and respect you wouldn't have done the shit in the first place, and you would have respected my pain by not lying.

Or maybe there was something about me and my friendship that you were willing to do without. And that hurts too, because if there was something about me that pissed you off that much and you told me... I would have done something about it because I loved you.

I know your life is miserable to you now, and I'm sorry. I know you are faced with decisions that cause you great pain, and I would have gladly held your hand. But you avoid your pain because you don't like it, and so numb yourself by doing things you know you have no business doing, risking everything you DO have... all the things about you that are good and true and valuable you systematically destroy because you don't have the balls to stomach a little bit of pain.

This makes you a dangerous friend. Someone who, while you avoid your pain, causes pain in others. And then you rationalize it as something you need to do for yourself because you do so much for others. But really... what have you done lately?

But it's come back to bite you in the ass, hasn't it? What goes around comes around. I'd almost feel bad for you... except you brought the shit on your self. And what's worse is, you'll have to go it alone. When I was fucked over and hurting, I had you. And now that you're fucked over and hurting, guess what... you don't have me.

You do have friends who'll help you. And you know what? I'm not the bitch who will turn folk against you. This is my rant and my blog and my own personal issue with you. I don't hate you. I won't shout you out to the public at large. After all, I sat on this shit and hurt by myself for six months. And I do hope you come to your fucking senses and pull your head out of your ass and do what you know it is you NEED to do. I hope your life gets better--I genuinely do. But I won't be there. I will no longer cheer you on.

Fuck you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Among Other Things....

...my Sun, who is just about my height/soon-to-be-taller, graduates elementary school today. He is eleven years old. For most of it, it's been him and me. For seven years, we've taken the hour-long commute in the mornings, giggling and telling stories, or eating breakfast, or arguing over undone chores/lost bus passes/missing homework, doing homework or sleeping. When he was very little he used to stand on the seat beside me, in the corner seats we always take, peering out the window of the elevated train, waiting to see the two big highlights of our trip. The first was the trainyard just above the Parkchester Station. In the morning the yard was mostly empty, yards of silver tracks criss-crossing each other like shiny ribbons.

And then right before we went under ground, we'd cross over the very high bridge that spans the dirty Bronx River and look down over a lot where school buses used to park. He would race to see how many buses were still parked in the yard before the train went under ground.

After a while, he got too big to care... playing his video games or reading a book instead.

Only one year I didn't take him in every day; the year his friend the Moon went to the same school and Shoefly, who is a much better morning person than I, would take them both in. I didn't miss rushing to get out of the house, but I did miss taking him to school.

Over seven years his hair went from long to drastically short to gradually long again, his face went from round to long, his voice deeper. Only his beautiful eyes remain unchanged, but now his face has grown to accommodate them.

Over seven years I went from war to peace with his father, been in love twice, played with booty calls, been heartbroken and joyous.

I've made friends, lost friends, changed friends...

But his life hasn't changed much. By the time I was his age I'd lived in three different countries, and he has pretty much lived in the same apartment his whole life. I was a lot more independent. I definitely wasn't as spoiled.

But he's a good kid, I think. Mostly polite and courteous except to me at times; talented, resourceful and enormously secure in himself.

I don't know that he realizes how much his life is about to change, but I'm confident that he'll handle it the way he handles most things; with a calm beyond his years and mostly good humored.

My little boy... now soon-to-be taller than me, long legged and husky voiced. I love him more than I could ever say... he is truly my light, my sun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lately...

my patience for human beings is insanely thin.

I'm not quite sure why that is. Though I have a few suspicions.

One thing is that sometimes seeing every one's issues that they can't see themselves really really makes me crazy. It's a curse. I wish I could shut it off, but I can't. The problem is, I have a lot of empathy for people and their issues, provided they are trying to do something about them. But most people roll along with their issues, putting them off on everyone else, fucking up situations, gossiping, taking what they need to feed that white hot flame and sometimes it's just so draining. Mostly because I struggle with my own. I'd probably be more patient if I had less issues of my own to deal with.

You know, like the ConEd serviceman coming to my door to turn off my lights. For whatever reason, he was really nice to me and gave me an out--bought me 24 hours. Maybe because I made a point of being nice to him. I had a flashback of the electric company in Jamaica sending techs out to disconnect our electricity in Jamaica one Christmas eve. Bigbear went ballistic, and so they got mad at her and turned the lights off for spite. So when the ConEd tech called on the phone from his car, I ran downstairs to talk to him in person... barefoot and stressed. I guess he had pity on me.

So I robbed my business account and kept the lights on another month. I got reimbursed from something I did out of charity and kept the cable on. I borrowed $1,000 from Poppy to throw into the $10,000 hole I'm in with the landlord. I still have to figure out my Sprint bill. And next month I get to do it all again, plus figure out how to raise the rest of the money for the Sun's Peru trip.

I am going grey at an alarming rate. I scrape together nickels and dimes for carfare.

And on top of that, while Bigman has told me before about his being molested as a pre-teen, the horror of what he went through hit us both full force the other day when he decided to do a little digging. What he found, and passed on to me, left my head spinning, left me almost nauseous. I had flashes of my own little boy and what I would do--what his father would do--if someone ever got to him. It was horrible. And my Bigman was really struggling. He was better today, but it's been a rough 24 hours.

So you think I give a rats ass about your problems and issues??? I'm tired of being sensitive, patient and understanding. I'm tired of reeling in my tongue. I'm tired of seeing your shit. I really am.

But of course it's not something I can shut off, so I just have to remove myself as much as I can, hiding out in my house until it passes, until I feel better. I have to do things in my own time.

I'm just trying to hang on... I want to go to Peru because it's the opportunity of a lifetime; I've always wanted to travel with my Sun so that he can see something other than New York City. I'm blessed that this opportunity has presented itself, and I thank God that I have the time to seize the opportunity. But it sure would be nice if I had the cash to do it a little more comfortably.

But I guess it could be worse. It could easily get worse...

I have faith that I'm doing the right thing, mostly for my kid. After learning about Bigman's hell I felt a little better about giving up my whole life to guard my Sun's flame. It's worth it, I guess, if he grows up to be a good man. I look forward to him being more independent so that I can go back to being a more social, working person. I miss shopping. But I'm glad I didn't sacrifice him to do so...

The end of his days at his elementary school are fast approaching. My kid is so nonplussed about everything, I'm not really sure how he feels about it. He got into the Middle School he wanted; he's got two friends there. He is confident in the friends he's made at his current school, and I've no doubt he'll keep in touch with them. There will be no music in his middle school, but he already speaks of continuing with Opus. He has a deeper voice that gets deeper every day, and a slight swagger. Sometimes he throws me incredible shade and I'm tempted to beat his ass, but pretty much I'm proud as hell of him. He is the best of both me and his dad.

It's a little weird to know that in a few days our time at his school will end; it's been six years. A lot has changed in those six years. But me, I'm chomping at the bit... I think I put in way too much of myself with some cool results but also some very not-so-cool results, and I actually look forward to walking away from certain people and never, ever looking back. And the closer the end gets, the more my animosity rises. I struggle with it. I don't usually hold on to most things, but I guess the big things stick with me for a long while and I do much better when I can walk away. And I haven't been able to... but now that I can see the end of the road, Lord I can't wait to get there... then I can stop being polite and having to smile at shit that really burns me up...

But.

Despite all that I want to end on a happier note, and that note is that I am completely in love. I find myself wanting to protect that moment we met... the moment that could easily not have happened because my going out that particular night was such a fluke. And suppose my natural suspicions had over taken me and I'd never given him a chance. Suppose the Scrub had been available that day in early August. But all those things happened and I have my ride-or-die. I love him completely. Flaws and all. He is the kindest human being I have ever met... even though it doesn't seem he would be. He's starting to refer to my family as his family. My cat likes him. Someone said the other day that I would grow old with him, and I know that I will. We joke about that.... being old and stuck with each other. But I like the thought of that....