The task of a novelist is to create a page turner. Whether the writing is good or bad, if people buy it and can't put it down, then that writer did her job. Simple. There are many strategies to accomplish this such as cliffhangers. George R.R. Martin does this with the ending of every Game of Thrones fantasy. I first noticed it when I read Dan Brown's The Davinci Code where he had made great use of short chapters that ended with cliffhangers.
What brought this to mind was my life. Our lives has chapters that begin and end. And depending on our growth, or decline, the length of our chapters can vary. Some subplots like passions seem to continue as we open new chapters. New characters like friends can begin, or old friends are written off as their use fades from subsequent pages.
We see this often with friends from high school. I personally don't keep in contact with any high school buddies, even though it seemed our bond during that time could never be broken. It's sad, but it reflects how much people change. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. Sorry. Couldn't help myself.
An old friend of mine invited me to a picnic yesterday, so I decided to carpool. Keepin' da Earf green, yo. It was a sunny day, blue sky surrounded the green grass, the smell of the BBQ stirred our hunger, and everyone was steeped in conversation. I made my rounds, reconnected with acquaintances, conversed with new people, and played a little volleyball. Literally. The volleyball was tiny, half the official size.
I had a dinner to get to that evening and told my friend that I needed to leave. I told him he could stay because I found him a ride back, but he gave me that look, one that I'd seen many times: by his standards, the driver, a woman, was unattractive. I wasn't asking him to date her, nevertheless, he gave me that look again.
As we were driving back, we broke into a heated debate about an email I had responded from a woman I was interested in. I had razzed her about an emoticon she used, and she went off on me. My friend said that I was in the wrong. I'd agree with him if she had just met me. Except she and I have been to two dinners, and she knows that I joke around a lot. When we talked on the phone, I had joked around a lot. I joke around a lot when I write articles for this site. Basically, I joke around a lot.
I'm not sure I've told you, but I joke around a lot. I don't take myself seriously. Seriously? Seriously.
My friend tried his damnedest to convince me to apologize to her. But from my point of view, I couldn't. Maybe my ego stepped in my way, but I didn't think I had done anything wrong.
So why don't I just say sorry? Gawd! What's wrong with me?
This was what I told my friend: there are plenty of women in the world, and if she can't read me, see that I joke around a lot, then we already have a communication problem.
Now, if I had made fun of her looks, been overtly sexual, or called her a bitch, then, yeah, I would be in the wrong. I'm aware enough to know if I've overstepped my boundaries. I'm also aware enough not to be desperate and save something not worth saving.
Unfortunately, this applies to my friend too. Because once I had told him the above, he went off and told me that he gets more contact info from women than I do. He actually used the term "contact info" because he either gets them to friend him on Facebook or gets their emails. I find no value in that unless it leads to a date, but to each their own.
All I had done was defend my stance. Why he compared himself to me escapes me. I don't know how many women he's dated, so I don't know if he's dated more women than I. Nor do I care, so I didn't refute him. I mean, what do I say to that? Nah-uh!
What I read was real anger in his words, in his body language. And I'm not sure why. He had done this in the past where he gets upset, compares himself to me, and calls my ex-girlfriends low-hanging fruit.
No he didn't! He called them that because he thought I was either lucky to have women in my life or that they were in some way below me, easy to reach. Anyone who says that is not a friend. So maybe I'm not that aware, since we hung out yesterday.
Then why are we friends?
When I went to Hawaii this past February for three months, I had no support group. I don't have family there and no friends except for those made through meetup.com. And I realized something. I've kept him as a friend like a tight rope walker has a net. And as a friend, I've forgiven him for some of the shit he'd said, but it's time to end our chapter.
Like many romances, or in this case, bromance, people walk different paths, and sometimes those paths never circle back.