April 14 by The Running Son
by Jim Aldrich_
I’m having a weird weekend. I learned I can still be really stupid. Sometimes it seems like social media will get the better of me. I want to take FaceBook and use it to fuel an enormous virtual bonfire.
Yeah I know. FB is responsible for people finding old friends and keeping in close touch with distant family members, but at what cost? I have one friend that I was hurtful toward, and hadn’t seen in like 15 years. I wanted to talk to him and make good. After three months of banal comment snippets exchanged back and forth, I saw the situation for the cold-war it was and I finally wrote an old fashioned email. It was very honest, direct and apologetic, but also confrontational, like “What the hell are we doing, we’re old friends. Let’s cut the crap and get over it”. I knew he’d either take the high road and talk to me about what’s bothering him, or take it badly, which he did.
He said the hardest things anyone has ever said to me, in person or print. It hurt. I refuse to engage in some FB showdown. But as I had hoped, there is a growing part of me–as each hour passes– that feels more and more “fatherly” toward him… understanding, empathetic. (I’m a whopping 4 years his senior, and half as smart.) Now, he’d see that as patronizing, and actually might because he can read this post easy as anybody. Does a little part of me hope he is reading? Maybe.
Fact is I was Best Man at his wedding, then fell out of contact for 15 years. That’s not what a friend does. I was a bastard and if there is a way I can make it up in this lifetime I will. But it got nastier with me. I went to the house of a man I work for yesterday, who likes to brag and namedrop, that sort. He is very closed off from his emotions. (E-3 for you enneatypers) Some of his behaviors irritate me, but we keep it to competitive banter most of the time.
Yesterday after that FaceBook exchange I was feeling… how do I explain…sadistic. Not physical violence please–that ain’t me, but I have a sharp tongue and I can wield it. I’m not real proud of this sarcastic “talent” much anymore, and less after what happened. but I’m still growing and learning and last night I turned the cruelty dial up farther than it’s ever gone.
I wanted to break another man. I probed and probed, asking questions I knew would pierce deep. Questions about his most private frustrations. I wanted to get through his reality distortion field and around his 20 foot thick ego barrier and force him to show me for one second who he really is. I wanted to send him into the dark on his own. I wanted him to feel the pain of it. I took him to the edge.
I don’t know the wisdom or foolishness of writing this down for all to see. I hope writing it down will be cathartic. I am ashamed of myself. I hope I never ever EVER do that to another person again. I don’t know how he is today, I’m afraid to call him. For the moment, I want to stay with my disgust with myself, feel it utterly. Then I have to make good with this man.
I will keep my FaceBook Page. It’s part of my life now. I just connected with a friend from a loooong time ago and I’m excited to talk to him. An no, I am not blaming faceBook for anything that happened. That was all me, and life.
What I will do now is pull back to get a better view. My facebook friend and my victim– those situations will work out if I proceed with RIGHT action. I pull back further, as if deeper into the atmosphere, and from this perspective I find these occurrences come and go in the span of our lives, like bubbles rising to a surface and breaking.
Moving back more, I see my friends lives and my parents lives, and my life. They rise and fall like waves, an endless sea of human beings emerging for a time then receding. Then I return from that great height to consider again my silly problems from a fresh, “god-like” perspective.
Oh how do we get out of the forest to ever see the trees?