Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Familiar Stranger

I’m procrastinating. My car wanders reluctantly towards the restaurant driven by my determination, but without my approval. I don’t want to go for dinner. I want to keep driving. Defensive and nervous, I fight the temptation to run. Passively I watch myself park the car. I feel my head fall back against the seat as my eyelids shut out the world. Breathe. Time stands still as I sit and wait. I’m waiting for the courage to smile and walk into a restaurant that I have been to countless times before. I’m searching for the strength to casually survive a dinner I used to look forward to. She will be late. I have time because I know she won’t enter a restaurant alone. I smile at the knowledge of her habits. I wait, calm and smiling, unsure and frightened.

Conversation flows easily into catch-up and gossip. We’ve missed a lot. Familiarity with the characters in her stories reminds me how distant I have become. I know who they are, but I’m not a part of that group anymore. I’m not invited. I struggle with the unspoken tension as her plot unfolds.

I want to listen. I want to care, but I don’t know what to say. Swapping stories allows for personal distance. I realize I don’t want to look at her. I realize I don’t know her anymore. I pause to consider being vulnerable and hesitate in doubt. I want to scream “Fuck this meaningless bullshit!!” But instead I smile. Like a toddler’s dedication to a noisy toy, the words I have yet to say repeat persistently in my head.

“We need to talk about what happened.” It has taken me 45 minutes to force the conversation away from roommates and travel. I don’t know what I’m waiting to hear. I have no idea what the magical understanding is that will make things right. I don’t hear it. The rift is echoing in my mind as I listen to her explain. Embarrassed, hurt, surprised, needs time… I listen for something unknown. I don’t hear it. I try to accept this moment and allow faith to grow, but I fail in my heart. I’m too hurt, and no apology is offered or accepted. I’m resentful that she lays entire blame on me. I’m hurt that this has been left unresolved since April. http://ryannreflections.blogspot.com/2006/04/im-sorry.html

I don’t want to be dismissed or excluded. I don’t want to be thrown away. Once a cherished friend, I find myself having dinner with a stranger. A stranger I do not trust.

Her voice flows through my memory as images appear. I remember pieces. I remember gossip and growth… but the detachment has grown too big. I don’t remember how to be friends with her. I don’t remember how to need her. I don’t know if I have the resolve or desire to rebuild this from nothing.

I have crossed over a journey, and leapt beyond my robotic escapist smiles. I’m not only happy, I’m inspired. The taste of something so genuine lingers on my tongue as I climb closer to the forms I seek. This room is moving in slow motion, and the colours lack the effervescence I crave. I want to share the taste of the world I feel today, but I can’t. I have changed.

Priorities have changed. She doesn’t know me, and it’s not her fault we are not the same. Her voice is kind, and her eyes are confused. I am the one who has suddenly jumped tracks at the revelation of a muse. I feel a purpose fusing my personality. The exuberance of my adolescence has recovered and is melding with the inspiration and insight of my experience thus far. This awakening is thrusting my focus in a new direction. I’m finding myself incapable of relating to superficial dialogues. I don’t want to go back.

Kind words and well-meaning promises clutter the good-bye. Awkward familiarity taints the love. In many ways we grew up together. Heartbreak and struggles were shared over many martinis. Shared experience created a bond as we watched everyone else walk hand-in-hand away from our still single status. Conversations littered with confusion and frustration lingered into the night. But that abruptly ended one evening in April. Can there be a friendship after the trust has crumbled?

The realization that we are strangers stings as I walk away.

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  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger Cairde said…

    There can be nothing more painful than having an emotional wall up between two people who once loved and were completely comfortable with one another. Times change, people change, more often than not, this change occurs in a manner we would rather not choose. I hate losing friends....

  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous rori said…

    Time changes everything, even people. The changes aren't always positive though. She claimed to be a friend but a true friend would be understanding of your career. I don't always understand my friends, but I support them and care for them.


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