Jul 23rd, 2005

I Don’t Want To Be Here

And by here, I mean on Earth in the 21st century. I need new friends, because my old ones are fighting for the honor of shredding my last nerve and exploiting my last drop of human kindness and tolerance.
The old adage "you're only as old as you feel" seems to friend number one a challenge to see if, before he reaches the age of 60, he can make his heart and head feel older than Methuselah. He is drinking himself to death, and let me tell you, it isn't as romantic an image as he would like to believe.

When we were younger, it was an interesting conceit on his part to be a dissolute blade of the Belle Epoque. Now it is merely tiresome. Cognac doesn't make for as entertaining a drunk as absinthe may have done, and neither drunk is entertaining on this side of the glass.

Our long-standing Thursday night dates have become an ordeal that neither the RLA nor I anticipate with anything other than loathing and pity. Interventions have not worked. How do we ditch someone we used to love, and who, despite his pitiable state, still, in his own pathetic fashion, loves us?

Friend number two. Ah, friend number two. She is a workaholic in denial of her addiction. If, in fact, it isn't addiction, then it is a sorry example of the Peter Principle, and she is overworking in order to compensate for the fact that she can't do her work in a 40 hour week. She has no life, except work and her children. Unfortunately, two children have flown the nest, and the last one is a fledgling, eager to get her feathers and go.

When that happens, what will happen to my friend? There will be nothing to distract her from her lack of a personal life except more work, and, I am afraid, that old demon gin, to which she shows a particular fondness.

Friend number three has a place in the dictionary, right next to the words enabler and co-dependent. I can't listen to her anymore, either. Wrong choices about almost everything to do with her kids lead to more wrong choices and tragic consequences.

As I tell so many others, you can't fix anyone except yourself. My fix is coming, and I am sorry to see it on the horizon. But I can't take any more of any of my friends self-destructive behaviors when I have my own to tend to.

Still, even in the driest desert, some flowers bloom, and last night I went to a lovely flowering: young April was ordained a priest in the Episcopal church, and the RLA and I were priveleged to be at the ceremony.

I love ceremony and rite, and this was particularly lovely. Love being the operative word. She is a woman full of love, and the church was full of people who love her. I promised TL (the prettiest man in the room, always, but particularly last night) that I would blog about it (and about him) so here it is.

The sermon given likened April to McGiver, a charismatic fellow of infinite ability to conjure salvation from a paper clip and a need. I ask you, when was the last time you heard McGiver's name mentioned in church? And why not? The world needs more McGivers, and that was the gist of the sermon: that our friend is a McGiver, able to pull the rabbit of hope from the world's top hat of despair.

She is, and in the mood I've been in, it was a reminder I needed to hear.