In just a couple of hours I will be meeting up with a friend from my Santa Barbara days. It’s her birthday tomorrow and the last time I called her she responded with, “Who is this?”
We’re not great friends, she and I.
We used to be good friends, when I lived in Santa Barbara. Truthfully, I’m not sure what happened. One minute we were talking about how much we were going to miss each other; what great friends we were and how that would never change. Cut to me in my apartment in Palo Alto and the many unreturned phone calls I made to not only her, but my entire Santa Barbara entourage.
I was hurt. And mad, boy was I mad. So mad that now, three years later, I’m still not completely over it. In fits of drunkenness I delete their numbers from my phones and images from whatever online community I happen to be logged into at the time. I swear to whoever is listening that I’m done with them. That I’m “too old to beg people to be my friend.” Which I absolutely believe. If someone doesn’t want to put the effort in, why should?
This philosophy, though, has one fall back, a catch-22, if you will: I have to keep trying in order to continue on the high road. Or, at the very least, I have to acknowledge their sometimes-efforts. I respond to text messages, answer the phone when they call and return calls when I miss theirs.
And when this happens I’m torn between two thoughts: you left me; and this is so great to be in touch with you again. I can’t make my mind up about how angry and hurt I should be. Or if I should be either of those things. How long can you carry a grudge before it starts getting pathetic?
I’m thinking I’m just about to reach that limit. So I’ll meet her for a drink and let the past be the past.