You’re a Terrible Man, Charlie Brown … but we don’t care

I would have guessed that tonight would have been about making amends. And maybe in some part it was … but that was a side effect to what it was about. To me, anyway.

I had drinks with someone tonight who, we discussed, I can’t really put a word to what our relationship had been. Not an ex, really. But not an old friend. Not simply “someone I used to know.” Not really just someone who was but no longer is …

Tonight I met with someone who was once the most important thing going on in my life. 

Tonight I met with someone who, I can assure you, I wronged.

I have to first say that every single trope was annoyingly true. For instance, she smelled just like I remembered. And she smiled just like I remembered. And she laughed just like I remembered. And she misplaced her adoration for me just like I remembered.

Or maybe not that last bit. I think one of the lessons I am still learning is to trust that other people can think some good things about me without an ulterior motive. Without it being a selfish or delusional thing. Sometimes people just like you, and they’re not wrong.

Yeah, still working on that one. Working on grace.

My hope is to not diminish things with my words, which are oft self-serving and inadequately focused. So I’m only going to say this:

I’m deliberately evasive sometimes. Its not a power-play or attempt to raise my social stock. As much as that, apparently, is a perspective on it. Its not about trying to make anyone think or feel anything at all.

Sometimes I don’t want to be around the world.

But sometimes, I guess, the world really misses me when I do this.

I’m not a very good person, I think. I have hurt others and, whether knowing and deliberate or just the effect of trying hard to protect myself and make decisions I can live with, in the end the effect is too strong for me to deal with. As if I am not fairly living my life, because I shouldn’t hurt anyone in the process.

Sometimes people get hurt.

And I’m relentless in my self-loathing on this topic. I’m embarrassed, and mortified, and such a predator because I know that people get hurt, and yet I willingly enter into friendships and relationships with other humans, knowing that there’s a chance my selfish actions are going to hurt them and scar them and ruin them, and that in the end, their time with me will have been a waste, because all they are left with are ashes and salt.

And that’s bullshit. I know that now. Because no one is ruined, and because people are resilient.

I can’t tell you what its like to feel forgiveness for my sins. Because that’s not what I feel right now.

What I feel is that I misinterpreted and misplaced a lot of supposed negativity. And it nearly cost me the friendship of one of those rare people who gets you, your jokes, your humor, your attempts at lightening the mood, your awkwardness, your embarrassment, your sincerity and your affection.

And it wasn’t the wrongs done that nearly cost me that relationship.

It was my fear. My running away. My trying hard to protect myself. My cowardice. My sense of self-preservation.

We hurt each other often. Sometimes it’s deliberate and knowing. Sometimes it’s an accidental side effect of the messy wort of emotional life. An off taste. An unintended consequence.

But when no one is saying a word about it, perhaps you’ve only been punishing yourself for all those years. Perhaps between the awful things you did and the unexpected admiration … perhaps you actually did do something in your interaction deserving of affection.

Perhaps the good in you was actually seen and understood, even if not expressed.

Perhaps the good in you outweighed the bad.

Perhaps someone, somewhere, actually got you.

Gets you.

Perhaps.

Anyway, it was a good night. And it was a good reason to start blogging again.

And aside from this, or perhaps because of it … please hit me up. Tell me you read this. Tell me you heard this. Tell me you forgive me or never felt the need to forgive me despite my knowing I wronged you.

Or perhaps just say hello, how have you been, we should get a drink.

Because I can promise you, I know I did you wrong. Whoever you are. And I probably still haven’t forgiven myself. But I’m learning how.

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