Saturday, March 21, 2015
Friendship. Ah. Bummer.
At first glance the topic seemed. Friendly.
I read the first part of the instructions. The enthusiasm faded.
“Ah. Bummer,” was the next words out of my mouth. The brain cells shut down. How was I to write about broken friendships? Not too easy when I slipped in, and out of many towns, during most of my life. There was never a chance to form everlasting connections.
I researched words on the internet to do with friendships. Became more confused the more words I investigated. Even sayings had different interpretations.
“Close as the bark to the tree,” means intimate.
“Go between the bark and the tree,” is meddlesome.
“Hand in glove,” is conspiracy.
Platonic can be construed in different ways.
Finally, I went for association.
I met this lovely gentleman at one of my husband's social gatherings. He played the drums with magic in his hands. What I mean is he could make them talk. He enthralled young, and old, with the way he played.
His favourite piece was to do with a moving train. An old steam train. He'd start off slow with the engine moving away from the railway station. The gathering up of speed. I don't know how he achieved what he did. I had this eerie feeling of the train going around the walls of the hall. The beat of the train matched the beat of the heart. I was aboard the train in my mind until the last beat. Applause was always slow because everyone didn't want to break the emotional journey. I missed the demonstration when he died.
I went on a different emotional journey one Autumn day when I met up with his son. I hadn't had much to do with him in the past. I knew he existed. Never been too friendly with him. He created a bad name for himself after his parents died.
He lost his job because he'd become a drunk. Mixed with other bums. People who had chosen to live that way because of circumstances they were unable to deal with.
The golden Autumn leaves were falling from the tree. A chill wind reached every bone of the body. Not a great time to be sleeping rough. One man I had a feeling came from a privileged family. The second one was rough. The third one I knew.
I was shocked to realise how far he'd fallen. Like an Autumn leaf he'd fallen from grace.
How sad his parents would be?
I thought he carried alcohol in his bag.
I had to hide the shock when he showed me the contents.
“Don't tell my father what I'm drinking,” he said.
His addled brain had forgotten.
How was I supposed to tell his father? He was dead.
I walked away. The three seated beneath the tree with leaves dropping on them.
Passed around the bottle. Life forgotten. Crushed to dust like Autumn leaves.
I didn't know.
There I sat minding my own business. I was there to do the bookwork for the selling of raffle tickets to raise money for the local ambulance.
I didn't want to be there. I had placed a time limit on my assistance because I didn't want to be seated in the lounge area of the hotel surrounded by. Drunks.
This had been my husband's job before he died.
Mine now. I'd help set up the number of tickets to be sold to make money.
I should have bailed weeks earlier.
I knew that the moment I felt I was being watched. The heat from his eyes burning into my skin. I ignored the silent challenge from him as long as possible. I had to raise my eyes to wait for the number when the wheel was spun.
The darkest brown of devil may care eyes twinkled at me.
I ignored him to carry on with my work.
He was persistent to overcome my not wanting to be the object of his next challenge.
I didn't know his name. Didn't want to.
I had never seen him among my late husband's friends. Trust in a strange wasn't something easy for me. Especially those of the male variety.
Eventually. We became friends.
Before the heart became involved many of his friends told me all about his flaws. Dalliances. Bits on the side. The line of females he currently bedded. Even those who had husbands. Daughters of friends. At times he couldn't remember which bed he'd spent the night.
Each time we spoke I could feel the proverbial dagger being aimed at my back. This situation was hard on the nervous system because I didn't know when the real one would land. I like to live a peaceable life.
I had to find an outer.
I took a holiday.
My daughter died.
Kept away from places I knew he frequented. I suffered a few health problems, not from the friendship, making work next to impossible.
I had finally found my outer.
I decided to sell my acreage and animals.
I moved away from the area to a different way of life.
I kept well away from entanglements.
I love my new life I've fought so hard to find.
The characters in my novels I can do whatever with them without them effecting my life.
But I still enjoy the company of friends when I need a break away back to the real world.
My friends, and family, are only a phone call away.
I had a lucky escape from living another dangerous life.
My first marriage was full of pain and suffering. No way was I going to take the third plunge to live in fear of abuse. Or death.
This time I knew of the flaws. I hit the high road to a peaceful life.
I don't want them any more.
Emotional baggage is too heavy to carry around for too many years. Not very healthy if you let the incident. Or incidents. Eat away at your nervous system until your health starts to suffer. Or your head is a dark place where you are thinking of ending your own life. And the life of others.
I once stood at the crumbling edge of a dark precipice.
Did I jump?
“You're made of sterner stuff. Don't take the next step,” came a gentle voice in my thoughts.
I stood at the crossroad where I had to make a tough decision. By the morning, I was shown a different path.
I'd moved out of the path of death to take the one to live to an old age.
The fear of abuse followed me for years until I found a way to release the pressure. Even though I'd moved on with my life the emotional baggage stayed buried to feed the hate in me for this person who'd crumbled my love to dust.
Time has come for a clearance sale. To clear out the rubbish to move on once again to a brighter life.
I hadn't known the whereabouts of the bane of my emotional destruction. All the hurt he'd caused buried behind walls of rocks.
A chance meeting with a friend, I was told of the area in which he now lives. The state of his health, and that of his wife, I let the last of the walls blast open. I'd never want him for a “best buddy”. I don't wish him ill wills.
I have decided to send him a few photos of the grandchildren he doesn't know about. The choice to cut off contact with his son wasn't made by me. I hadn't stopped any contact. I have never told our children of the damage he caused.
If he decides to bin the photos the loss will be his.
The hands of time have wiped away the last of the emotional baggage I've carried for far too long.
There will never be a great friendship between us. The first slap tore us apart never to be mended.
Time has come for a clearance sale.
I will pass on the information to my son. I have no intention of standing in the way of any contact between them.
Maybe time has come for the both of them to work out what is keeping them apart once given the path for them to chose which way to go. Before time runs out for them to make an attempt to clear away their emotional baggage.
I was always “wrong”
This was my day.
My husband swore to stand by me in our marriage vows.
He crumbled at the first hurdle.
I had gone through all the pain to deliver the first grandchild. A daughter, I had.
Mother-in-law started a war. A war of one-upmanship. Or should that be woman-ship. She had to be the first to buy a present. And the best.
On receiving the phone call to say the baby had arrived she went into action.
My parents drove her to the hospital.
I thought everyone had come to visit me and to see their granddaughter. I'd have lived to have been in the car on the way home to hear what had been said about my decision.
My mother-in-law has beat a haste trip up to the jeweller to buy a bar broach to have the name engraved on it. Right sounding name but, wrong spelling. She had asked the woman who served her how to spell the name.
Wrong spelling. I said so the moment I opened the gift.
I had seen this show year past with the name. I kept the spelling in my mind to use when I needed it. I wanted to spell the name, “Jody”, but I was howled down to be told that was the male way of the name. I fumed beneath wanting to show a peaceful demeanour. Didn't want to cause arguments between family. Or cause a disturbance in the ward.
“Why can't you use the way my mother has it,” said the father, stirring the dormant coals.
“There is no way I'm going to change my mind,” I replied. “She should have waited until she was told the correct way.”
“She wanted to buy the present before my mother.” I could see there was a long rocky road ahead.
She had wanted a daughter when she had her children but ended up with two sons. Now. She could do for her granddaughter what she didn't get to do for a daughter.
The tone for us not having a close relationship had started.
He wasn't her favourite son but she had him tied tight to her apron strings. I always I had married the both of them. What his mother told him was gospel.
Even the nursing sister I took Jody to to be weighed and checked each month, was wrong.
“She's wrong. Doesn't know what she's talking about. Baby powder is made for babies,” was her opinion. “I used the same brand for both my boys. I had no trouble.”
Most babies are born with a different set of D.N.A. What fits one doesn't fit all.
The rash went away with the use of creams.
The battle lines were drawn. There was never a firm friendship between us.
His mother was right even after I walked out years later.
I was always. “Wrong”.
In her eyes.