It’s been a little while since I posted – a few things have happened, and I’ll do a more detailed and thrilling exposé shortly, I promise. Right now though, I want to tell a brief story.
Those of you who stalk my daily life on Facebook may have noticed on Saturday just gone I posted the following as a status update:
What a fracking odd day so far. Slept in which was nice, breakfast at gastronome which was delicious and ran into a patient whose baby I delivered a month or two ago which was lovely, coffee at elephant boy which started well until… well, ran into someone very unexpected, then went to Dick Smith and bought DVDs to master MedRevue and found out that they didn’t work in my burner, returned them and… same damn problem with another brand & kind, so that’s irritating as all hell, and now I’m sitting at home feeling trifled with.
Now, some people know a little of the story, some people none at all, and in a way I’d wanted to keep it at that. It’s something that I’ve exorcised in various ways in the past, but as I found myself fuming down the pavement on the way home, a line from my on-again-off-again novel elohim came to mind – “no more ghosts.” Thus, this post.
When I was studying creative arts I made a group of very good friends, all amazingly wonderful people. One of them in particular at the time, I was taken with for quite an extended period. We did the good friends thing, the flirt thing, the coffee thing, lunch, etc. Everything was, how you say, “on track” until Something Happened.
Something? Yes. What? Who knows, honestly. To use a crude term that I write infrequently – I have no fucking idea what happened. We went from being very close, kind of dating, etc, and then boom, I was suddenly figure of contempt number one. I shrugged and tried to move on as best I could, but it got worse – all of a sudden any comment I made in a class, regardless, was punctuated by very interesting facial expressions and occasional vocal disparagement. I began to be excluded from social events, initially that she was organising, and gradually fell off the radar. By the end of the degree, I think a year had gone by where we’d have been lucky to exchange words half a dozen times – going from multiple emails/texts in a day to a wall of silence was something rather dramatic, as it seems.
At any rate, I did shrug and move on. I was seeing someone else, life was going very well, medicine was starting up, etc. She continued at the uni but I encountered her at a distance maybe once or twice – and by this point I’d given up on building that bridge and was now simply in a “forget, forgive” mode.
I attended the launch of the creative arts student magazine in 2009 then – some two years after we’d exchanged words. Facebook told me a few hours before that she would be there, but hey. I’d moved past any rancour, and I figured apart from a few pleasantries I’d spend the night chatting with other friends – and I tried. I did get a cold shoulder though… to the extent that I was physically ignored, and it spread from her to another friend as well. That was… disconcerting. After all, those that know me know that I tend to get along well with people – almost anyone, as a matter of fact. All part of the personal charisma, as Miles puts it. This situation though, with my creative arts ‘friend’, was a shock to the system.
Fast forward almost exactly two years and I’m sitting in Bowral in my favourite café, having a coffee and reading on my eReader, when a voice from the past says “hello Ben!”. No, not her, but a mutual friend who’s engaged to one of my other creative arts friends. We chatted briefly, and then she told me – oh yes, I’m here with so and so and such and such. Come and say hi! We’re right next to the door.”
My internal monologue at that point was something explicit. That said… I did it. I ordered a second coffee to go, and went and said hello/goodbye. I actually got acknowledged, too, which was interesting, even if it was a smile and a nod that still had a flavour of contempt about them.
At this point, I left the café and wandered back home, eventually, semi-fuming and semi-upset. It’s hard to quantify why, she’s about the only person in the world who can make me feel like that. I suppose it’s a bit of dehumanisation – I wouldn’t look at a piece of garbage that way – and also the whole “what the fuck happened again?” that inevitably crops up when this goes through my mind. Maybe it’s because, unlike other infjs, I don’t really doorslam – and I feel that’s what’s happened here to me.
Anyway, I went home and started playing around, did the Facebook status – and within thirty seconds someone messaged me online saying “it was X wasn’t it.” We then had a very cathartic conversation – as my confidant knows me very well and knew the situation at the time, hell, we started dating at the end of it and were together for a few years. Anyway, she helped me feel a lot better about the whole thing, which is something I’m thankful for – I seem to have gotten a good friend back. So that, at least, ended the day on a positive note.
Names? You want names? Sure. Ask me in person. Otherwise, well, I leave you with a song by Gotye – it’s called “Somebody that I used to know.”
Sadly, or not, sometimes that’s all we get out of it. Actually – yeah. definitely not. And nowadays, that’s just fine.