Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Emma: We were best friends throughout school and beyond, aged 11 through to 23. She ended up in a relationship with a guy who basically kept her captive within her own home. No amount of persuasion would make her leave him. During the time of hardly any communication, I found a great friend, a guy who I was unsure of taking the next step with. He told me he loved me and I told him he was a great friend and I wanted to see where we went. One day, out of the blue, I got a call from Emma. She had ditched the guy and wanted to catch up.I took my male friend with me to the coffee house while we caught up, we ended up being labled the 'terrible threesome' after a while by other friends.One summer we went to a music festival, got very drunk, I woke up the next morning to find Emma and my male friend having sex, right next to me in the tent!!I got up, collected my things and called my mum to come pick me up.I didn't speak to her again until a year later, she was still with my male friend and they had had a baby together. She had pretty much gotten pregnant that first time.I ended up homeless and she offered me a room in their home for a while. In the time that I was there I noticed how upset my male friend was most of the time. He was downright unhappy and I could see why; he worked 12-16hr shifts at an airport that took him 2hrs to get to work in the early hours of the morning. He barely slept, she didn't work at all. She spent all her time sat on her backside watching daytime TV, ignoring her daughter and the mess she created.She barely showered and even ran a comb through her hair. Her excuse for not showering; "I've been running after {name} all day!" I'd tidy around while she sat around. I cooked dinner for her daughter and made sure the home was somewhat presentable for when he came home.On his days off she would make excuses like "have to go see my mother" or "I'm popping into the city for a few hours", leaving him and I at home, these days he cleaned, he cleaned everything, the house gleamed and shone. He did his washing, he played with his daughter, he cooked dinner.Eventually I lost my job and had to leave, moved back in with my mother for a while, we lost contact again.Now, I recieve regular texts from him, asking how I am and we just chat.I feel for him though, she slept with someone else and has now had this guys baby, my friend is raising it as his own as he doesn't want to loose his real daughter.For this...I never want to speak to her again.
Phil. We met through a mutual high school friend. After college, and into our twenties, we became the best of friends. We saw each other often and talked on the phone. He was always involved in dysfunctional relationships, including a 16 year old girl that he started seeing when he was in his late 20s. He bought her breast implants and she dumped him shortly thereafter - he never even got to see his $3,000 investment. He also had several girlfriends that always cheated on him - he cheated on them too.
The last girl he met, he married. The first, and only time, I ever met her was about a year before 9/11. Phil and I were going to LA to see a concert, and he had just started dating her. She came to the gate with him and sat there for about 15 minutes before we boarded. I didn’t really say much to her, because I had just met her and figured she was the latest temporary girlfriend of his. I wasn’t rude to her, I just didn’t really spend much time talking to her. Phil eventually lost his job and moved in with her. Then, he moved across the country with her and went to graduate school. He also married her at some point. During the four years between my first meeting her and the last time I spoke with him, we met up in three different states to either have dinner or see concerts. He was secretive, but friendly. He came back home a few years ago to look for a job because he was graduating, and we had lunch. He said we would get together later in the week but called and cancelled.
I tried to call him a couple months later and his phone had been disconnected. I tried his cell and the number was inactive. A couple of years passed and I was talking to the mutual friend that originally introduced us. Phil had gone to Oregon for a work related conference and asked our mutual friend if he could stay with him. Never mind that he hadn’t spoken to the guy for several years prior or since. They went golfing and when the mutual friend brought my name up, Phil launched into a story about how I “disrespected” his wife and he had nothing good to say about me. Keep in mind, I had met her one time and in the four ensuing years, Phil and I had met up in whatever state he was living in whenever I happened to be in town. He had let me winter my motorcycle in his garage before he moved. He had called me when he had his first kid and had invited me over to his parents for Christmas when he would come home for the holidays.
For a while I wondered how I disrespected a woman I had only met once, and why, if I had behaved so egregiously, he maintained a friendship with me for several years thereafter. But Phil was always a follower. I think he married a mentally abusive control freak that was threatened by our friendship. Apparently, based on what our mutual friend told me, she lets him go golfing on Saturdays with some old friends from high school, and that’s the only time he goes out without her.
He moved back to our home town apparently. We live in a big city, but I don’t know what I would say to him if I saw him again. I don’t hate him, but I think he’s a coward for disappearing and going underground. He’s not in the phone book, not on Facebook, he’s all but disappeared. I think he used our mutual friend when he went out to Oregon because he wanted a free place to stay while he was out there - he hasn’t called the guy since. I could probably locate him if I wanted to, but have never felt the need. When I do refer to him, I refer to him as Judas. He was always easily led, even by me, and now he let’s an easily threatened woman control his life. He has two daughters. It would be ironic if someday, men sodomize and use them like he did to all his girlfriends. He’s a weak, easily led eunuch who told a bunch of lies about me to at least one mutual friend.
The last time I got a Christmas card from him, the mailing label listed her name first and his second. She kept her maiden name. Pathetic.
I met Annie one faithful day in high school. A mutual friend had introduced me to this pink haired, carefree girl and I was immediately intrigued by her. We became fast friends and were soon hanging out all the time. Now, during this time, I thrived on the "demons" of life, such as drugs and alcohol. I did everything that I could get my grubby little hands on, and apparently the both of us had this in common. We used to spend countless hours in her room, discussing everything from music to life. Things were great like this for a couple years. Then things changed. I came to pick her up at her house on day and she had obviously been "partying". We walked into the house, only to find that she had left the sink upstairs running for hours, and the entire ceiling above her parents bed had caved in. When her parents got home, they were less than thrilled. One parent had actually punched her in the head. So I told her until the house was fixed that she could live with me. Big mistake. She would get trashed and come back at all hours of the day and night. That is when she would show up at all. Her things were in my house for months before they were finally picked up. I should have seen this as a warning sign, but did not. Our "demon" usage had progressed to near dangerous levels. While I was busying "skiing the snowcaps" Annie had begun "chasing the dragon". When I came to my senses and cleaned myself up, I respectfully bowed out of hanging out with her and her "friends". The last time I heard from her was when I got a call at 2am with her crying and telling me she wanted help. I offered to take her to rehab, and that offer was quickly turned down and replaced with an offer to "party" instead. I politely declined and asked her to never call me again (as I was working through my own issues still at the time). I heard a year or so later that she had burned down her parents house, rumor has it she nodded out with a cigarette. I will never know the real story, I just hope one day she gets her life together. I also hope that her parents finally learned their lesson about letting her live there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Renee is the sweetest person - she’s 100% USDA certified organic cane sugar sweet. She looks like a girl in an Urban Outfitters catalog, too. Neither of these reasons is exactly why we no longer talk. In fact, I don’t really know exactly why, except that we haven’t in so long that to do so again would be out of the ordinary. There’d be too much catching up to do, and someone would have to explain the lapse.I met Renee at this Harlem charter school where I used to work. We were both new teachers at the school with only one year of experience under our belts. In the early days of classroom arrangement and teacher orientation, it seemed like we’d be great friends. We liked the same music and shared the same views. The only difference was that Renee was hip in that easy, Cat Power-listening, “I feel so much more centered when I’m vegan,” lush long-haired kind of way. Meanwhile, I had stringy bobbed hair and a hankering for Taco Bell.We worked together for a year, drifting closer or farther in the tide of chaos, field trips, and paperwork. When she broke up with her live-in boyfriend, I was the first person she called. I was in my own floundering relationship at the time. We’d bonded before about guys - how funny and difficult they are, how we worried about our tendency to give them such central places in our lives. I hoped the experience meant we’d be closer friends, but everything pretty much remained the same.Post-breakup Renee was different, though. She said she wanted to go back to school to become a dance therapist. She started dating a hipster with sexual dysfunction. Every conversation was predicated on the fact that her life and goals were nebulous and unfulfilled. Though unintended, the message I took from them was: I am tragically hipper than thou.I quit teaching after that year, desperate to use my brain more than my vocal cords. Renee got a job at a school in her Lower East Side neighborhood. I broke up with my boyfriend after vacillating about it for months. Renee and I talked at least once a week. When we hung out, though, I was always distinctly aware that she was on a schedule and had plans following whatever we did. Some guy friend who had an awkward crush on her had asked her to a movie. Her sister was coming in for a concert. I felt like I was a pitstop on the way to a much cooler destination.The last time we were supposed to hang out, there was a sudden torrential downpour. I didn’t feel like schlepping around in galoshes, but before I could cancel, Renee bailed on me. She said her sister was in town and that they were going to hang out instead. This might be understandable if her sister was unexpectedly visiting from far away. But she lived in New Jersey and visited a few times a month! Why not also invite me, since we already had plans? This wasn’t the first time she’d done something like this, but it was the last.Renee’s voicemail said we should make plans for another time. I never called her back, and she didn’t call me back either. She was the Lower East Side; I was the Upper West. Perhaps we both knew it
Bethany. I met her at a bar shortly after my wife and I separated, at a meat-market bar whilst I was totally on the rebound. I should have seen it coming. She picked me up by using some not-so subtle lines that I should have listened more closely to. Then, when she decided to tag along with some friends and I later that night, became increasing more confused and less coherent as the night went on. Sadly after not being able to lose her the whole night, she ended up passed out in my bed. The next day I couldn't get rid of her either, but was lonely, so eventually just decided to go along with it. Six months later, she had sucked every dime out of me, as well as my will to live. Any attempts to break up resulted in a breakdown and a revelation with some kind of too dramatic to be true story of pain and suffering. She would CONSTANTLY talk about her recently estranged husband - would even mention him during sex (though any mention of him was in a negative light) - and would just genuinely suck the warmth and light out of any room she entered. She went through several jobs during this time, never staying for very long for being fired for "political reasons". The rest of the time I had to support myself AND her, including her rent, utilities - right down to cat food for her poor cat she never saw since Bethany was always at MY place. I should never have been such a pushover: but after 6 mos, $3000 in loans, a laptop, a trip to Mexico, and more meals than I can count, I finally got rid of her. Until it was time to do her taxes. And again to send me pictures of the fabulous trip to Australia her new boyfriend had taken her on. Sure could use that $3000 dollars right now, you hunchbacked, snaggle-toothed leech!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Her name was Maryanne. We met at an open mic night at a crappy bar where we both were playing. She was short, had dreads, and looked a bit like a troll-version of Tracy Chapman. She played a Beach Boys song and we bonded over our mutual love of said group. We would occasionally bump into each other at various dive bars and parties and became casual acquaintances. She had a sketchy look about her and would grit her teeth and make strange facial expressions as she spoke. Eventually she moved into an apartment building across the street from me with her girlfriend. I eventually found out that she was bisexual and a recovering crackhead, and was infamous for crashing parties uninvited, looking for crack. One day she showed up at my house when I wasn't home, visibly intoxicated, and asked my roommate for a pen and paper so she could leave me a "pen message". When I later read it, it was just scribbled gibberish. She then showed up at a mutual friend's place and started acting crazy. After refusing repeated requests to leave, my friend called the police, at which point she pulled out a large kitchen knife and cut the phone cord. My friend managed to escape with her in hot pursuit, and ran to the nearest phone booth and called the police. My friend managed to hold her off until the cops showed up, at which point she refused to drop the knife and was pepper-sprayed. This had no effect and the police were forced to tackle her into submission. I haven't seen her since and I have no idea where she is or what happened to her.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I met Andrew on my first day of university and we were great friends for seven years. He's a man of firm convictions and strong intellect, and we enjoyed arguing with each other about politics. One of the amazing things about Andrew is that he's only ever mad at one person at a time, but he focuses all his energy on that apathy until someone else makes him mad, then all is well. It's the key to the man, the fact that, once discovered, makes his foul moods bearable: Weather the storm, and he will one day again be your friend. Twice over the years I fell into his dog house, both times when I caught him lying about women he claimed to have been intimate with. Twice we buried the hatchet. Eight months ago Andrew got a real girlfriend, a true and nice and wonderful girl, and I was so happy for him. Then he told me I was too immature to meet her --that I could not be trusted and I would only embarrass him-- and I was devastated. Every one of our conversations after that became an argument, but he no longer respected my views or what I had to say. I kept waiting for his anger to move on to the next person, but it never did. He would go on and on about how I had no friends, when, in fact, he was the one who was drifting out of our social circle. One day, out of the blue, he sent me an e-mail that I couldn't finish reading. It was the ravings of a man insane. I wouldn't send a letter that brutal to anyone. I forwarded it to a couple of our mutual friends, just to show that I wasn't being overly sensitive when I said I'll never speak to him again. Turns out he had spent the last four days bad-mouthing me to my sister over facebook before he worked up the nerve to send his e-mail to me. I thought he'd be an uncle to my children. I thought we'd know each other when we became old and grey. I haven't forwarded that e-mail to his girlfriend. My friends tell me to. My sister tells me to. My mother tells me to. I won't. It's not the mature thing to do. That e-mail is the last words we will ever exchange, and they make him look like an animal. That should be enough for me, but instead it just makes me sad. Goodbye, Andrew.