Sunday, April 29, 2012

The ghosts of friendships past.

One was as recent as last week, some as old as twenty years ago.  I hate wondering where these people are now, how they're doing, and if I still haunt their dreams like they do mine.  After all, I own a piece of the heartache.  Then I start thinking, am I even an issue in their lives?  How arrogant to think that I may be.

I have...had a friend whom for years was a constant companion growing up.  We were inseparable as little girls.  In fact, when I catch up with grade school friends on Facebook, I'm often asked how she's doing.  Folks assume we would be joined at the hips forever.  Not so.  Somewhere along the way we lost one another to ugly gossip - a nasty, behind-the-back betrayal.  When we tried to resolve things, it was too late.  The damage had been done.  Years later, we met for lunch.  She was quoting Bible passages and I, Middle Eastern philosophy.  That was our last and final visit.

Another was lost to the violent gangs of East Los Angeles.  I couldn't and still can't comprehend this.  She wasn't Latina, she was of Italian decent and yet she'd talk about her new "men" with gangster names like "Spider" or "Ghost".  I was quietly disgusted as she'd explain how her "familia" looked out for each other with an accent which belonged in the back alleys of the city.  What happened to my friend?  Where did she go?  Why was she dragging her actual family, "Mom and Pop", into this dangerous, ugly world?  Several of her boyfriends who'd been on parole had - at one time or another - lived in her parent's home or she had visited them in county lock-up.  She started calling people "whities".  What was with that all about?  Finally, I had enough.  If these people were who she wanted to call family, then her decision was to exclude me.

My recent break is still too raw to visit.  It's packaged and placed in a box on a shelf.  One day I'll try to sort through the pieces.  For now I'll leave it be and remember why it's safely tucked away.  I miss this friend and am tempted to call and make amends; however, it's over for a reason and, it may be a moot point anyway.  Forgiveness may not be an option. Better to leave things where they are; locked and secure.  Enough bricks have been hurled.  Enough misunderstandings have occurred.

So I'm haunted.  We all have people in our lives who've entered and exited under sad circumstances. I wish them well.  When you love someone, you obviously never let them go.  They'll always be a part of you.  They know your secrets and dreams; they've shared your laughter and tears.  If any of you are reading this, I wish you well.  Now it's time to place your boxes gently back on their shelves where they belong.