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