Sunday, September 15, 2013
I have this friend. We've known each other for many many years. That's the problem. We are tied by history. We have nothing in common except that we went to the same school, know some of the same people, had a brief commonality - very brief, really. Yet for these many years we have considered ourselves friends. We have had long stretches of silences but we seem to reenter each other's lives.
I do not like him. He is everything I dislike in people. He is totally self focused. He is rudely judgmental. He has displayed a very cruel streak publicly - bursts of ugly anger and embarrassing fury. He is racist although he would say he is not. He is sexist in that 1950's kind of way which wouldn't seem sexist if we were living in that decade. He is shockingly ignorant considering that he is an educator. He is devoid of a social conscience. From my observation, he has many acquaintances but no close friends.
He considers me a close friend.
We are not.
When we talk - well, when he talks - it is all about him. When I interject and try to share he doesn't hear me. It's as if I hadn't spoken at all. When he has finished his ego fest he makes a quick and speedy exit.
Anyone I have ever introduced him to has remarked "Why are you two friends - why is he your friend?" - As in - why would you even consider such a person your friend - why would you want to be in his company - why? why? why?
I last spoke to him yesterday. He phoned me on his land line to "talk". His monologue was interrupted by his cell phone. He asked - no - told me to hold on as he took the other call. It wasn't even really for him. From what I could hear, it was a neighbor asking about my 'friend's" sister who had been hospitalized. He coolly informed his neighbor of his sister's condition which was quite serious from what I could gather. Yet, my "friend" spoke like a dispatcher after a long boring shift of reporting routine brush fires and domestic squabbles. He, then, told this neighbor to hold on - came back to me and I immediately seized the opportunity to end the call by saying "Why don't you call me later - go on and take your call." He did without even a thank you - just an OK and click - well, phones don't really click anymore but you know what I mean.
I sat very still for a few beats then relaxed into a decision. I need to once and for all divorce this "friend". I feel nothing but contempt for him - not a shred of love or even like. I understand what makes him the way he is. I really do. Yet, that doesn't matter. I want out.
He will think it is another one of our "silences" and eventually he will break down and call me. And when that time comes, I will - what? Answer the phone? Ignore the call?
What I want to do is tell him why we are not and have never really been friends. I don't want to hurt him. I just want to end this thing - this acquaintance - this pretense. His ego will surely be capable of handling this "divorce". When he speaks of this - and he will - it is I who will be the one being dumped. And that's okay. Because my ego doesn't care.
I am looking forward to saying "I had this friend. We knew each other for many many years. That was the problem.................... "