Forget for a moment that I spent enough money on the upper regions of my head this week to provide food, shelter, and medical care to a child in a third world country for five years.
Forget also that I picked my cuticles and thought about football in church and that I neglected my job and, oh, bought a computer two times more expensive than was strictly necessary.
This week's crime is nothing new. It is a pernicious and well-worn habit. It is the worst thing about me.
Reader, I am a terrible friend. Sounds really un-sexy, as crimes go, doesn't it? Well. I suppose it is. But if you knew the extent to which I am guilty of this, you'd be rightly disgusted.
On the right, you'll find Newsy on my friends bar. We met nineteen years ago in college and have been friends all of those years, but for one thing: I never, ever call her. In fact, at this very moment, I owe her at least twenty phone calls. That's right: twenty. I am pretty sure that her mom had surgery for breast cancer recently. Her father has been in poor health for years and she has the same tiresome problems that I have. Except that she is about 1000000% times more busy than I am. And yet she still calls me and makes the train of our friendship run without my help. I have no idea why she bothers because if it were up to me, we would have lost touch years ago.
Then we have Skate. We have been friends since just about the moment I moved to New York. He is a lovely guy and one of the more fun people I have ever known in my entire life. He's also wicked smart and did I mention the fun? Well. Skate has been trying to get me to go ice skating with him all winter. Winter is almost over. Last week he sent me an IM saying "I hate it when you drop me like this. Maybe one day when you decide you like me again, I just won't be here. How would that be?"
Did I answer? No. The scary thing is that when I finally get back to him, he'll forget my neglect without a grumble. Then he'll take me out for sushi and hold my hand for hours while I talk about my issues. He has been doing this for years.
This behavior drove my friend Lola so crazy that I am sure it is part of the reason she is no longer speaking to me. (Of course, she is not speaking to anyone and aside from a coded message left in comments on my birthday, I would be pretty sure she was dead).
Oh, and Jib? Oh my God. Six solid months of emails, phone calls and text messages. That I have not answered.
So why am I such an ass hole? I am sure you know there is no excuse. As I sit here, I realize that coming up with a decent explanation is pretty much impossible, too.
OK, I'll try.
I love people. I really do. The problem is that my relationship to the outer world is very different from that of regular people. I am so introverted that I am pretty sure I could successfully wall myself up in a cave with a life time supply of batteries and a laptop and never feel the loss of other carbon-based life forms. OK, perhaps that's an exaggeration, but not an extreme one. I love people. I like them, too. If you've been reading for more than a few weeks, you know that my family is pretty much the whole show for me.
My bad behavior, then, is driven by the fact that while I love people, I don't need them. If that disgusts you, I can understand why. But love doesn't beget need. Need begets love, perhaps, or children wouldn't grow up to love their parents. (Good thing, that, right? But I digress).
I love people. But I don't need them, and if you give me other items, issues, activities and obsessions...
A dash of drama in my family, three times more work than I can handle, a little narcissistic self-absorption, daily cookie resistance and some really filthy floors- and then get me to thinking about myself or drawing pictures for my blog - and my emotional resources fall below levels required for basic decency.
It is no mystery to me why I behave this way. The real mystery is why I have so many wonderful people - people who would drop everything to help me if I asked - people who would walk a mile on their hands just to amuse me, some who have stood by me for half my life - given my life-long neglect of them. All I can tell you is that Merry knows I have this issue and has chosen to roll with it. Pax has this issue herself and so she can roll with it too. Bibi and Sri absolutely hate it and seriously, they'd kick me to the curb if I were not so obsequious and pathetic when I finally call them back. The rest of y'all? I don't know how you put up with it. I don't know why you do, either. I don't deserve you.
So when someone asked me last week what I was "doing" for Lent, the answer was "calling people." Seems an odd way of practicing repentance and abstinence and humility, doesn't it? Well for me, it means I have to apologize to about fifteen people and it means I have to abstain from my shabby, delusional self-sufficiency and it means I have to be humble enough to admit that I cannot, in fact, make it all alone in a cave, however much my disordered brain thinks it would very much like to do so. I have not even mentioned yet that my neglect hurts people. It would be good if I could stop doing that and try to meet other people's needs instead of being satisfied that mine are being met because I have convinced myself that I don't have any.
Which, by the way, is total bullshit. Anyone who knows me in real life - or who has read more than three entries on this here internet diary - knows just how much bullshit it is. (it's a lot).
If you, reader, are still talking to me after reading this, I have no idea why.* I am clearly the Worst Person in the World. Oh wait, that's Larry. Oh, what the hell. Since it's Lent and everything, let's say we get over all that and forgive ol' Larry. After all, he is spacefuck crazy and while is behavior is worse than mine, his challenges are far greater, too.
See you tomorrow. (That is if you are still talking to me). (Please still be talking to me).
*Oh don't forget that I love you. And that you are beautiful. I am sorry. I can't help myself...