Before I get on with other posts, I have to address wrongs. I have no idea whether it will be seen by anyone in question, or by anyone who knows anyone in question, but I will have gotten it out there.
A few years back, I got extremely angry at my erstwhile best friend. I don’t even remember precisely what I posted about on FB or what the comment on it that triggered me was, but my friend had every reason to have been annoyed enough over the years to have been frayed into saying something that conveyed disdain or irritation, and while I overreacted, some sort of overt split was years, perhaps decades, overdue. I could go into detail about what was wrong with me, and the history between us, but the short version is that he is a good man and I should never have spouted vitriol here, even without naming names or expecting anyone who might know who I meant to see it.
We met the year we each turned 12, hit it off, and were almost inseparable that first year. In a way, it was as much a heterosexual boy crush on my part as a friendship. He was in some ways more mature than me, in others more sheltered, and was always more focused. I worshiped him, essentially. This kind of relates to things I have to say in other posts about other things in my life and relationships. This also is a bit of the insight I gained from being introspective for a long time following being called on the horrible post and taking it down. There are other people less capable of introspection and realizing it’s not necessarily them, but you. So at least I have that going for me, even if getting there took falling off an emotional cliff.
Not that I didn’t know some of the ways in which I was irritating long ago. I just tended to ignore them. Perhaps I thought it was part of my charm or something?
In all reality, our “best friends” stage could be measured as as little as a year and a half. The second summer, we weren’t so inseparable. He had other things going on. I didn’t so much. But we remained close friends to some degree for a number of years. He married another friend of mine, which was great for them and traumatic for me, as these things are.
Over the course of time, some of the traits that he found annoying were enhanced by my admiration of him. Who wouldn’t want to be more like him? This entire incident and my examining it deeply finally knocked through my head that he is just a man, an ordinary person with strengths and foibles.
The wife was amazed I called him one of my best friends, since we didn’t act it, and she’d have thought we had nothing in common had she not been told. She saw it first, or at least admitted it. By the time we were 20, if I had made no effort to remain in contact, or vice-versa, we’d have been people who once knew each other, not so much different from people I once knew in school.
There are similarities with my history of serial crushes that were a form of addiction as well as a somewhat autistic trait. Starting at a fairly young age, with little or no break, I always had a crush on some girl or another, but I would never act on it enough to have a relationship. The harder to get someone was, the closer I’d come to trying. The more receptive someone was, the faster I’d back away and move on. The high of feeling “in love” was, in retrospect, what mattered. I finally broke that addiction and, frankly, gave up. Then met my wife in more of an intellectual relationship where she was more the driving force then I was. It actually took longer to get past my best friend worship, and was more traumatic and hurtful to others.
Knowing myself matters.
Being aware of the pain and anger I can provoke with words matters.
Will what happens now, what I think and feel now, actually matter in twenty years? Will it seem foolish in retrospect? A long term outlook on what’s really important matters.
There are no words to apologize adequately. I don’t know if my old friend saw what I posted, but he had to have heard about it if not. There’s no reason to try to be buddies now. I am chastened, and he wasn’t really part of my life by then. What I did and said wasn’t really forgivable and I know it. I just wanted to get this out there. I’ll try not to do that sort of thing again to anyone else, and be quietly delighted for him when I see things like the arrival of his first grandchild.
There is another person, going back to 2008, hurt by what I posted. It’s not as personal, not as absurdly stupid on my part, but is arguably another thing I could have restrained myself on. In this case, it was local news that touched upon my family and events of my youth. It took me a while to get inside the potential feelings of the person at the center of the news and grasp how it might have felt to him to have details posted. He did lasting damage to us as part of the fallout, but I am sorry about that nonetheless.
But the past is the past, whatever regrets or joys it might hold. Moving on.