Cover note to a former close friend

I will fold this up, put it in an envelope, and send it to this longtime friend who told me he loved me like a brother, before repudiating me forever. Oh, well. I don’t write it for him, I write it for myself. You be the judge:

Maybe friendship, like everything else in nature, has a natural life span. On the other hand, long, close friendships that end in mutual enmity, while both former friends are still alive, reflect an unwillingness (or inability) to reach a humane understanding. Not that humans are primarily rational, of course, as we see on the world stage daily, and friendship is not an entirely rational thing. On the other hand, concluding that a person you once loved and trusted is an irredeemably hurtful asshole reflects a fundamental emotional/intellectual disconnect, an irreconcilable battle with your past self. Most tragically, in a world where we’re lucky to connect with a few kindred souls over the decades, this fatal falling out cuts off all possibility of redemption, a more nuanced understanding that leads to reconciliation and a better life. The traditional image of heaven, old misunderstood enemies tearfully embracing — not for chumps like us.

To clarify, I’m not trying to change your mind about anything. It’s pointless to go over the angry phone call when you rang to confront me about what you said was my dangerously out of control anger. If nothing else, your aggravating show of “concern” was a reflection of emotions that had long been simmering in your heart. We’ll agree that your inability to understand why I was so upset when you dismissed my right to have strong feelings about a screwing you couldn’t personally relate to was genuine.

We can safely assume I’ve always been the kind of vicious, hypocritical, ruthlessly angry hurtful fuck you now conclude I’ve always been, regardless of my protestations of patience and mildness, and that you’ve always been a hectoring bully confidently pessimistic about the possibility of real human growth. Not a problem. I try to learn lessons from things like a falling out with a friend of fifty years. I know saying that is provocative, especially to someone who doesn’t believe people are capable of truly learning from pain, or making meaningful changes in their emotional lives. It is one more of my irrationally superior tics, something that makes a lazy lost soul like me so despicably infuriating.

Here is a bit I wrote the other day, trying to work out some more lessons from life, as I wait for the update on whether or not I am dying of prostate cancer. Have a great day, man!

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