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Monday, July 16, 2012


Sara and I have known each other for years.  I can remember the first time I was “introduced” to Sara (it’s a long, convoluted story…) and, like many people who have become significant in my life, I wasn’t terribly impressed.  I mean, Sara seemed knowledgeable and enthusiastic, but I really didn’t feel much of a connection - at first.  I enjoyed the stories Sara told and I liked the general vibe she put into the world, but I really didn’t “click” with her more than other people. Then, one late Christmas Eve, Sara opened up and really showed a delicate soul and an amazing strength.  I knew then that I’d never be the same after that night.

We didn’t become friends right away, though Sara was very much on my radar after that point.  I had followed Sara online here and there prior to that Christmas Eve, but after that night, well, I was addicted to Sara.  I wanted to read anything and everything I could and discover the deeper, underlying person that wasn’t available to read about online.  I knew Sara was a single parent, involved heavily in Scouting, a faithful follower and volunteer within the Catholic church, and I knew that Sara had a spark of mischief and fun that was absolutely irresistible to me.  I don’t think anyone had grabbed my attention as hard or as deeply since the time when I first decided I wanted to be friends with Andrea (a dozen years ago, now) and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be good enough to actually be friends with someone like Sara.

Honestly, I didn’t really cross Sara’s radar, either.  Oh sure, I got the occasional polite response, but nothing more than any of Sara’s other dozens of faithful “fans” who also followed Sara’s online comings and goings.  Still, every pat on the head, every nod in my direction, every virtual high-five, every “hello” left me giddy.  Eventually, a Scout related project lead me to Sara’s door asking for advice.  I’m not sure if Sara felt I had things well enough under control or if I just wasn’t specific enough in my questions, but she never did really help me with that particular project much, though she was morally supportive with her, “You can do it!” attitude.  Still, something else developed - a tight and trusting friendship that filled a hole that had been growing wider and deeper with each passing year since Andrea and I had begun to grow apart.  Every day, every week, every late night chat, every “zomg you won’t believe what happened today!” phone call left us closer and gave me confidence that maybe - just maybe - I was worthy of friendship with Sara.

I’d go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere
Ask me and I’ll be, ask me and I’ll be, ‘cause I care
~Fleetwood Mac~

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had quite a few friends who’ve kept my emotional ship afloat these past few years, specifically people like Libby, Tirzah, Matt, and Erica.  There have been others who have jumped in where and when they could, too, but things were different with Sara and I.  Sara was my “It’s 3am and I need someone to talk to” person.  Sara was my “I need you to tell me that I can do this” person.  Sara was boundless creative energy, my own personal cheerleader, a teddy bear to cling to on dark nights, and a devious partner in crime.  Sara said all the right things and all the right times and called me on my bullshit when I needed someone to yank me back in line.  Sara was my best friend and the person I relied on most - until…

Sara, Sara, storms are brewin’ in your eyes
Sara, Sara, no time is a good time for goodbyes

I don’t know.  Things just changed.  I felt the shift.  Sara did, too.  We each took turns pushing at each other and then trying to pull each other close.  It reminded me a bit of what Aimee and I had gone through about a decade before.  In part, I think our common interests faded.  We each were playing different online games, participating in hobbies in different ways, and our conversations turned from comfortably normal to uncomfortably trivial.  Then there was a sort of push that really hurt so I drew a line in the sand and said, “Enough.”  From the beginning of our friendship, the one thing I craved, the one thing I wanted more than anything, was to be “good enough” and having that feeling so clearly absent in our interactions was killing me.

Sara, Sara
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress
Sara, Sara
You must forgive me my unworthiness.
~Bob Dylan~

I think Sara was relieved.  I mean, no one wants to be told to go away (directly or indirectly) but the push/pull was tearing us both apart and neither of us wanted to be the one to step off the teeter totter and leave the other with a bruised ass.  Me bruising Sara’s ass gave her the entitlement to glare at me and tell all our mutual friends how it was all my fault that we were no longer friends - though to be fair to her, she never did play that card.  She was just done, I guess?  I don’t know.  I saw the hurt that scorn causes, and I saw the frustration of missing something that wasn’t there anymore, but only in the way one can see people moving about inside a house at night through closed shades.  Sara was just done with me and I had to get over it and move on.  In some ways, this was a relief to me because it meant that I must have done the right thing if Sara was so easily done with our friendship.  But in other ways, it was crushing.  How could she not be as hurt and lonely and sad as me?  How could I believe we had such a tight bond, if she was so willing to just let it go?

Sarah, I want to be like you
You know sometimes I want to love like you
So I know how it feels not to feel
~Bat for Lashes~

There was an attempt at a truce, but I sort of think it was just both of us stuck in a tight jam and leaning on each other “like old times” out of habit more than anything.  It gave me such intense hope that maybe, just maybe things could be patched up and restored from the ashes of our friendship.  We called like we had before.  We helped each other like we had before.  It wasn’t quite the same and there were awkward moments where we’d sort of make unintentional jabs at each other that would sting, but then we’d move forward.  I can’t speak for Sara, but I really needed her, especially during the week before day camp when I was so stressed out.  It was good to find respite in our friendship again.  Clearly, I got my hopes up too high because in the last three weeks, things have changed, yet again.

She says, I got something to say
She knows what she says will change everything
She’s laid through so many sleepless nights
She’s crying, she’s crying, she’s crying
~3 Doors Down~

During the time I was gone, I sent a few pings in Sara’s direction.  What I really wanted to say was, “Holy shit, I could not have made it through day camp without you.  Thank you SO much for all you did!”  What really came out were photos from the trip, “hey, how’s it going?” texts, and stupid little ways of poking hello in her direction without saying anything in particular.  I have no excuse.  I could have made more effort, but I didn’t.  On the drive home from the airport, I sent a few texts and got no response.  I hadn’t really received any response the whole time I was on vacation, but I just figured Sara was busy.  Then yesterday, I sent a few more texts asking direct questions that sort of demanded some sort of response.

Finally, I got a text in which Sara said she was mad and didn’t want to talk.

Oh.  Well.  Okay.

To be fair, she didn’t say she was mad at ME, but that’s how I tick - I get all up in my head about how I have personally wrecked every person’s life I’ve ever encountered.  Hah.  If only I could be so powerful, eh?  Still, it didn’t seem much like a, “Look, I’ll talk to you later,” message, more like a, “Please stop bothering me,” kind of thing.  So I just replied with something like, “OK, thanks for letting me know,” and I guess I will leave it be.  What else is there to do? 

So I guess I’ll watch the gap widen and feel the ache growing like I have with so many other friends.  I guess I’ll let go, in that clumsy, awkward way I do, and I’ll regret things I said, and regret things I didn’t say, and wish that things could have been different, and still hope against all hope that maybe, just maybe, this is all just in my head and tomorrow Sara will call and we’ll laugh and we’ll joke and things will be good again like they once were. 

If you feel like leaving you know you can go
But why don’t you stay until tomorrow?
~Hall & Oates~

Sara, if you read this, please know that I miss you.  I’m grateful for all the times you missed out on sleep to talk me through something that was bothering me and I’m even more grateful for the times you let me hold your hand when you were struggling.  I wish you luck with your upcoming endeavors and I believe in you like I could never believe in myself.


For what it’s worth, I’m always here.  Maybe I can’t be the perfect friend and maybe I’m not the best person to support you in the things you’re doing, but I’d be happy to try if you let me.  And if you won’t, that’s ok, too, even though it hurts like hell.

Take care of you.

Posted by Liberty on 07/16 at 01:27 AM
Posted under: See-ThroughThe SoundtrackThinking of You

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