I get paid to write things now. I’m still not used to it, and when I see my author page I can feel my internal organs re-arranging themselves. I should be working on a column right now. I’ve been trying to write it all day, but my success has been limited. Until now I only wrote for myself and I only wrote about things that bothered me or were of direct pertinence to my life. Now that I have assigned topics and deadlines I’m realizing that for me at least, writing is almost a comparable to a bodily function: one thing has to pour out of my fingers before there is room for something else to exit them. I have no idea when that happened; when I was a child writing was a chore rather than a necessity and it was surely never a joy. The sensation of having to write something, to not have the luxury of waiting until time has passed and it is more appropriate and will not pour salt onto new wounds is novel and somewhat unwelcome.
Two of the most important relationships in my life have recently undergone drastic transformations. One has simply changed, I think for the better, the other seems to have ended, at least for the time being. Both of these metamorphoses have come from the respective inability or unwillingness of my loved ones to meet certain needs of mine. I’ve written enough about the end of the first relationship, but the end of the second is still so new that I’m not sure if it’s really all over yet.
I am a difficult woman. I am often contrary, demanding, selfish, willful, and sometimes cruel. There are too many times when I ask nothing of people, I simply assuming they will be able to anticipate my needs and immediately provide for them. When they don’t, I become resentful, taking their neglect as a sign of their apathy towards me rather than the inevitable consequences of my lack of action. Sometimes, though, I ask for things I need and usually those requests are simple: don’t leave me, need me, console me, want me, care for me, listen to me, leave me be. These things may not always be easy but they are always, always simple.
I once had a very dear friend. I was certain we would always have each other, that we were heart-sibs, and that soulmates never died. I refuse to give up the hope that we might one day reconcile, but as things stand it seems that our bond is broken. There is an ache that gnaws at me. I think if I could only find the reason for our parting, the ache would go away.
Was this schism caused solely by my necessity for solitary reflection? I think not. Were that the case it would mean that all the years before this were a dead forest of misconceptions and illusions waiting for the spark of misaligned requirements. That prospect is too painful to consider and I reject it out of hand. Was our dissension caused merely by her systematic destruction of every stable element in her life? I doubt it. Perhaps if my disposition was not so caustic and if I had had the strength to keep my mouth shut it would not even have been a factor. I think before I speak, and I refuse to unthink or remain silent. Was it caused by something else? Some incompatibility of ideology or conviction? Who knows. We thought we were so alike.
I cannot determine exactly where things went wrong. I am certain we each could find a way to pin the blame for our parting on the other if we tried, but I have no interest in accusations and so the pins pass through the creeping beetles of my condemnations. They crawl away and I still ache.