“Are you telling me that's a choice I need to respect?”
Respect, no. Accept, yes. Dislike the situation all you want. It won't change anything.
I don't know you. I don't know why you're addressing me... if you're just trying to illicit a response, then fine, you win. I will respond by telling you this:
When I finally blew up and all this mess started, I made the decision to go into "crisis management" mode by pushing people away from the blast site, as it were. Everyone pissed and moaned about how great a friend I was, or how I was their best friend or only real friend, blah blah blah etc.
Then a little over a week later, when I got sick of all the whining and moaning, I decided to write an addendum. How did my friends react to that?
Fanfare was minimal. I think after that, one guy managed to be hardheaded and try to hang on with the "you are my only friend" crap. Another guy even seemed to support the idea of suicide (which I have no current plans for, but I appreciate the thought none the less).
I did go back over the correspondence from after the original blog article. All it revealed to me was how little people think of me. The last thing I wanted from anyone was pity, but they all threw me a pity party anyway. It's rather pathetic -- I'm an adult now, people. I'm a big boy and I can make my own decisions, however stupid or undesirable you may think they are.
I guess maybe they believed that the right amount of patronization combined with a heaping helping of empty encouragement would make me feel better. That isn't to say that there weren't one or two very good letters to which I was more receptive... but the majority of them just managed to make me angry enough to reiterate my stance short of consulting the Sailors' Dictionary.
The thing that is really pathetic is that somehow everyone thought their relationship with their "friend" was humming along nicely until this happened...
My friends kept things so impersonal that I had no real relationship with them anymore.
In reality, they shunned me in their own way -- long before I shunned them. Maybe things could have been handled better on my part -- I could have just let them open their newspaper and find my name in the obituaries, and left them with no idea of what happened. I really wanted to be an important part of someone's life, but for some reason or another, it never happened.
When I say I want to be an important part of someone's life, I have a rather specific meaning. It's not about what people do for me, or vice versa; rather, it has more to do with being "connected" to someone. Pretty much all the relationships in my life have been one-way streets, in one direction or the other. The relationship I have with my mother is of that nature. The only reason I have no plans of suicide is because doing such a thing would kill her. That's about the extent of our relationship.
Other relationships consist of similar mechanics, where only one side of the equation is ever meaningful.
I wanted to avoid mentioning Kroc so I wouldn't give him the wrong idea, but I really don't see any other way to get my point across to you in a meaningful way. So, here goes...
I love Kroc, but he really doesn't have a clue. Probably my fault -- I didn't make things clear until now... but I don't care about having broadband. This whole "Help a Man Get on Broadband" campaign is something I *never* should have agreed to... but I could literally see the excitement and the glow in his eyes from across the Atlantic when he brought the subject up. I knew in the back of my mind that I didn't really want this kind of complication, but at the same time, Kroc was really enthusiastic, and I thought "what the hell, if it makes him happy in the end, I'll go along with it."
If I had known then what I know now, I would have probably put more thought into the possibilities.
In the end, it was looking to me more and more as though Kroc was digging himself into a hole he couldn't get out of. Why? Because of some bandwidth? Jesus Christ. I don't care that it takes 10 minutes to get a page to load, or that I have to make a half-dozen attempts before I can download a file over 2MB. Not if it means Kroc is going to bring his entire life to a screeching halt and sell stuff that has sentimental value to him for the sake of me having a slightly more convenient method of perusing the Web.
Not only that, but things are so impersonal between us now. I don't know if it's just something I started to notice more, or what. But for a while it has seemed that he's just been withdrawn from me. Our conversations had become a routine four-message non-starting ritual. I would ask him how he was, what he was up to, etc., only for him to say "tired" or "I don't know" or whatever. End of conversation.
I'm not placing blame squarely on Kroc -- surely I have equal accountability -- I just felt as though, in a way, I was losing him. We used to have lengthy, deep, interesting conversation. We grew together, bonded, whatever you want to call it. One was always interested in what the other was planning, and then before you knew it, four hours had passed and that plan had all but become a concrete dream-come-true.
I know things are rough from time to time, and conversation isn't always going to be exhilerating, but it (seemingly) went deeper than that. I perceived Kroc withdrawing from me. Maybe I was wrong, I don't know. But I was really missing that two-way street situation.
It's not just Kroc, though. I use him as a primary example in this post, but he is not the only factor in all this. It also has a lot to do with my inability to focus, and my inability to remain calm when something I am working on doesn't go as planned (i.e. I fuck up and break my work). There are of course other friends with whom I've had "problems" with in some way.
Johann, you're good. I was thinking this would be a short conversation, but I think you've provoked me in a way that got some gears turning. Either way, I've rambled enough. I don't bear *anyone* ill will... I just don't know how to deal with problems like these, and after a while, I go off the deep end.
I'm not saying I've changed my mind on anything... but hopefully this is a start toward understanding one another.