tagLetters & TranscriptsA Letter to a "Friend"

A Letter to a "Friend"


There was a time when I needed people, and my best friend and my brother betrayed me, together. After that, I stopped needing people because it hurt too much. I let myself forget that, and I put myself out on a limb again. I let myself care about someone in more than an impersonal, care about another human being, kind of way, and I got burned again. It's an old pattern that I've been following my whole life. I see someone offering companionship and I want it. We always covet that which we don't have. When the inevitable occurs, I cry for the lost mirage. I stop wanting, pull everything back, and seek to protect what's left. Then someone else comes along and the pattern repeats itself.

Maybe I'll remember this time. Maybe I won't let the pain fade, and the wound heal. Maybe there will be too much scar tissue this time for anyone to be able to get through. Nearly everyone that I've ever let myself love has ripped my heart out, and I've always just stood there and let them. I can't take this kind of pain any more, but the problem is that I let myself start needing people again, and now I don't know if I can stop. It was easy not needing anyone when there wasn't anyone around because, at that time, I was simply by myself. Now I'm alone in a sea of humanity, and I feel as if I'm drowning.

I don't want the pain that I'm feeling, but I don't want it to go away either. This hurt is the only thing that will keep further injuries away. I don't want to be alone. I never have, really, but alone seems to be the only safe place. The question is, can I be without and keep from going so completely in that I lose the world around me? Does it even matter if I move through life as a ghost of a person whom no one really knows?

The funny thing is that they would all believe they knew me. I'm that happy person who's always laughing and telling jokes. They wouldn't know that I'm smiling because I'm so empty inside it's either laugh or scream, and we all know that without sound you can't always tell the difference.

I've felt like this too many times in my life, and I don't want to feel this way now, or ever again. I don't deserve to feel like this. I haven't done anything to warrant being trampled time and again by people who profess to care. All I've ever been, to any friend I've ever had, was the best friend that I could be. When will my trust be rewarded with honesty? How many times will I believe lies before I stop believing the truth? I've paid my dues in heart's blood. Isn't it time I started getting some of the interest that's been accruing in my account?

I went outside tonight to have a cigarette, and looked up at the clear, desert sky. The stars are as beautiful as ever they were, but they aren't the same. I once saw the possibilities of a million different peoples when I would gaze up at those points of light. I dreamed about how many of them would be everything that we're not, and everything that we are as well. Now all I see is deep, empty void surrounding balls of fire that will some day burn to nothing. They seem so distant now, so remote. The warmth has gone out of them, and I wonder if it'll ever return. I see their individuality for the first time in my life, and know them to be as alone as I should have kept myself. The hieroglyphic stories they used to tell me are no longer there. The once mighty hero, Perseus, has turned his back on Andromeda, and it turns out that Ursa Major is naught but a sieve.

The voice of the universe has altered. It used to whisper softly in my ear, telling me about all the wonders that had to be out there. Now it hisses and snickers because I finally understand how cold and inhospitable it truly is. Once your perceptions have altered, can you ever see things the way you once did?

I saw a meteorite flash across the sky, a green flare that lasted no more than a second. I immediately knew that's what I am right now, burning away with a fevered, septic, psychic wound. Can I bear the healing process yet again and expect to come out whole on the other side? How many near lethal blows will land before someone holds out a hand, and if someone did, I think I'd always expect it to become a fist eventually. Will no one be kind enough to perform the coup de grâce?

With perfect honesty, I say that I don't want to be here right now. I don't want to be me any more. It's too hard, with too little reward. Two hundred dollars for passing Go doesn't even come close to being an incentive anymore. I think about it. I always have during those moments in my life that seemed the worst I would or could ever suffer. I'm thinking about it again. I ponder the ways, the avenues of self-destruction. They shine so brightly in my mind, and seem warmer than the soulless stars ever were.

I know I won't do it though. The only point would be to end the accumulated pain of a lifetime of betrayals, and I don't think it would actually accomplish that. You see, any time I've ever wanted the nothing to take me away from it all, I always see the faces of the people who "know" me. I understand the confusion and anguish such an action would cause them, and I can't bring myself to place my burden on their shoulders. I don't think I would stop hurting in any case. I think I would only be making it worse for myself because I would then see exactly what my actions have done to others and their suffering would multiply my own geometrically.

Therefore, here I am one more time, left with no options but to plod on under the yolk of a life that becomes more oppressive each time I offer my hand and draw back a stump. I can't bear any more deceit. It's better to have a lonely heart than a broken one. I think from now on I'll keep my hands to myself, and draw my elbows in tight as well in preparation of a rain of blows falling from out of nowhere.

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