You Don’t Want to Be My Friend

You don’t want to be my friend because I am possessed of two diametrically opposing qualities: a deeply visceral empathy and a concern for the logical, sometimes both at the same time, sometimes both canceling out. You don’t want to be my friend because, if you are a true friend, you have my incredible loyalty and this, I realize, can be overwhelming. You don’t want to be my friend because I am true to who I am and, while I try to be nice, I am not always nice. You don’t want to be my friend because I am committed to honesty, even when it hurts. And this mostly hurts me. You don’t want to be my friend because while I am good at elucidating at length and intelligence upon certain subjects, I am often not good at explaining my own feelings, assuming that I am not reluctant to do so — ergo, the title of this blog — because one has the obligation of showing up or being kind or responding to the munificence of other people. You don’t want to be my friend because I am very happy not knowing. You don’t want to be my friend because it takes me too long to reveal what others can tell you about themselves so easily. You don’t want to be my friend because I am often stopped in my tracks by a moment of cruelty or injustice and cannot let certain things slide and must rally against it, even though I hope that I will use my powers for good. You don’t want to be my friend because I don’t want anyone to hurt you and will remember those who do. You don’t want to be my friend because I am sometimes an introvert who masquerades as an extrovert, and am perhaps something of a social fraud because of this. You don’t want to be my friend because while I am confident about who I am, I am not sure if the scars have completely healed. You don’t want to be my friend because my face is terribly expressive. You don’t want to be my friend because I very frequently don’t want to ask for anything. You don’t want to be my friend because I want to bear burdens silently.

You don’t.

Want to be.

My friend.

Last night, I had a horrible nightmare in which I learned that my own mother had been responsible for My Lai. I woke up shaking, sweating, my huge heart thumping loud within my chest. I also had a wonderful dream in which several kind jazz musicians allowed me to sing with them on stage after it was demonstrated that I couldn’t play any of their instruments.

You see, there are also good things that come from all these emotional realities. And the shame in typing a phrase like “you don’t want to be my friend” makes me wonder if I am again being too hard on myself, if I am again feeling guilt for not being perfect, if I am momentarily advocating Donne’s dangerous maxim, if I am otherwise grappling with the burdens of being human.

But I do want to be your friend. And I’ll understand if you don’t want me to be your friend. But it goes without saying that we’re all in this together and life is too short not to try.

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One Comment

  1. Ed, Ed, Ed, you always crack me up…you’re such a hoot! Here I am a Wiccan Faery Witch, and I consider you my friend and my email buddy. What does that say about you? That you must be a really great guy, who has expanded his horizons waaaaaay beyond the norm. Sounds good to me! 🙂

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