Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear neglected,

Dear neglected, dear blog, dear--

How have you been? Are you having a happy holiday season so far? Are you enjoying your solitary trek through this long December? We should catch up -- it's been too long -- maybe get coffee or Chinese noodles, the good kind that are supposedly authentic. I'd like that.

I've been too busy for you. I've been selfish, I know. I haven't made time for you. But you've been too busy for me too. Or maybe that's just the line I tell myself to get by, that you're having another life, that you and other friends are updating and chatting, swapping RSS feeds and laughing without me. Facebook says you're in a relationship now; your new girlfriend looks nice, but I still hate her. I heard you've won awards, traveled the country, the globe, got a new job that doesn't actually suck. That's great, that's all great, it's amazing how much you've done when I've not been around.

I've been teaching.

It sounds so small when I say it.

Everyone tells me it's a noble job, but it feels small. The way people tell a bride that rain on her wedding day is a sign of good luck not a sign of miserable weather on the day of her celebration.

You ask what I'm doing now and I reply I've been teaching, and you reply  Oh really? Teaching what? (you've always been good with the follow up). I tell you it's creative writing and intro to composition, all at the college level.  That's great, you say. That stuff is really one of those building blocks.

Building blocks. Basics. Boring. One of those classes you were forced to take but didn't in a million years ever want to take.

Did you know, you say, I graduated from that school, the one you're teaching at. Now it's my turn to say Oh really? That's kind of cool. I smile.

But those are my problems, not yours, so instead I ask what you're doing now.

You're working for a DC think tank. You're writing code for internationally focused government organizations. You're months away from a high tech Ph.D. You're starting a consulting business. You're living in Portugal. You're meeting and greeting stars on Broadway, you're giving your business card to Sigourney Weaver. You're building engines for cars so advanced they don't even exist yet. You'ved moved to the East Coast.You've gotten married.You've had a baby, would I like to see pictures?

It's been too long.

I was reading my poetry students final portfolios today. And there's something about poetry, and those who are beginning to practice it, that is so raw and truthful and so fucking honest. And it really tripped me up. It got me agreeing with them that yes, there is something about poetry that is just so ... fragile. It shouldn't be any more fragile than any other form of writing -- after all, it's words on a page. Poetry should be no more fragile than the words its made up up. But it is. Our friendships, our cares, our complaints, our successes, our failures, how we communicate or don't, should be no more fragile than ourselves. I'm not fragile. I've worked hard to not be so. But our friendships are perhaps more fragile than I would have imagined. And they break softly, quietly, under the strain of a thousand days and a thousand words not said.

Because if you think I could be forgiven for this, I wish you would.

--No, not those of you whom I told to fuck off over the years. The crazymakers, drama queens, and liars, I've excised your from my life for a reason. I don't want your forgiveness. I don't miss you. I don't miss your drama. I don't miss the regret that inevitably came from hanging out with you and going along with the flow. I don't miss you lying to me about your other girlfriends, I don't miss you lying to me to make yourself look like a better person than you really are -- if you're mean behind your friends' backs, then be mean; if you're petty, be petty; if you're a sleaze, be a sleaze; just be honest about it. I don't miss you telling me btw, I'm single this weekend and expecting me to lie to your boyfriend, your fiance, about about what you did while visiting me in Chicago. No, for you I hold firm with my assertion that you should fuck off.--

The ones from whom I want forgiveness are the ones whom I just let ... drift. The ones whom I accidentally neglected and now I don't know if the connection still works, if the link remains unbroken.

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