Confessional under new management.

Friend, forgive me. For I have (probably) sinned against you, repeatedly.

I’m sorry.

I really am. It’s not that I don’t care. I do. I wonder how you are. I hope you’re okay. I smile when I think of our times together.

I’m just really, incredibly, surprisingly awesome at being a shit friend. And there’s no excuse.

When it comes to getting out of my head, when it comes to picking up the phone, when it comes to starting an email… Words become elusive. What do I have to say that you’ll find interesting? What responses will I give that won’t make you wonder if there’s something, anything, else you could be doing?

I don’t want to intrude. And I don’t want to sound about as interesting as that fleck of peeling paint on the abandoned building. Plus, people are busy, right? We’re all insanely busy. I respond (if I respond) to personal stuff when I’m in the bathtub at night, because that’s pretty much the only time I stop to do things of that nature. That means if we were supposed to talk during the day, I’m probably running late, or I’ve forgotten altogether. Or I’ve gotten the time wrong. Or all of the above.

And so, I end up being a shit friend. I forget to write, I forget to call. And when I do remember, it’s usually with just a quick hello, so I don’t take up a lot of your time, and because I’m not going to bore you with my everyday life.  And you probably have no response to it, because I haven’t actually said anything worth responding to. At some point, I’ve probably also offended you, and have no idea. So my question becomes: are they just the same kind of friend I am? Or are they finally pissed off enough with me they’re not going to bother with me? Obviously, I’m not going to write to ask. That kind of open communication with possible confrontation side-effects is way beyond my capabilities.

I have no idea where this deep lack of ability to be a good friend comes from. Being rootless for most of my life, maybe? Moving around constantly and failing to develop deep connections? Or, maybe I’m just too selfish for friendships. Too self-involved. Friends give up time for one another, right? They’re always available. My life as a hermit means I’m available to the birds in my backyard, and my wife. Interaction beyond that requires preparation and thought, as well as a whole host of what-if conversations no one else is party to (that they know of). Also, it’s not just friends this happens with. It happens with my family, too. Communication outside my head just isn’t my forte.

Whatever the reason, I’m sorry. Know that I value our friendship, even if we only talk once a year. Know that I look forward to seeing you, one day.

Thanks for putting up with me, and for sticking around.

8 thoughts on “Confessional.

  1. Being a friend means accepting your friends as is, meaning we understand your hermit ways and love you anyway. Besides, I’ve read your books, the inside of your head makes for good reading, so don ‘t change a thing about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like waving to my fellow hermits as they pass by, with full understanding of why they’re not stopping to chat. It’s good to ‘get’ people. 🙂


  2. I read your post this morning and have been thinking about it off & on all day. I guess because I can relate so much to it…. especially the part where you wrote about your life as a hermit. The older I get the more of a hermit I become. I think some of it is because of where we live now – in a metro area …. so many people, so much traffic, and a stressful, busy work environment. Campus was closed yesterday and today because of snow and ice and I’ve been the happiest person. But we got out of the house and went to dinner with friends tonight and I felt like I couldn’t even string 2 words together to say out loud…. I was so glad when we finally were home again! lol

    I know we haven’t met in person (yet, I hope!) and we only email or message here and there, and I think you’re a fantabulous friend!! I feel very lucky to have met you all those years ago on Myspace. xoxo


    1. I wonder if the hermit thing is a product of age; the wisdom of knowing quality time matters more than the quantity of things out there to do.
      And I know what you mean—sometimes even when I’m out and enjoying myself, there’s still part of me that can’t wait to be home. 🙂

      MySpace really gave us some great connections, didn’t it? Just shout when you’re on your way to England… 🙂


  3. Yeah. What Valden said. “I understand where you are coming from.” I suspect there are many wonderful people who feel the same. I know I do. It’s something I’ve been working diligently on for the past 6 months. I’ve discovered that people actually respond positively when I share a part of my boring life. I think there is a little part of every human that enjoys hearing about someone else’s life once in a while. Thank you for expressing yourself so eloquently. You are awesome, and I consider myself blessed to have you in my life.


    1. I think so many of us feel this way; we’re probably in the majority, but too worried about vulnerability and exposure to say so.
      I’m glad you’re on my path, too. 🙂


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