Let Yourself Go


There are a few things I need to get off my chest. Lest you think this is just another rant, hold tight for the light at the end of the tunnel (or, erm, the post).

I know that I’m justified. Last week Brian asked me to please stop telling him how much I hate his roommate. Mind you, this isn’t a topic of conversation I choose deliberately or even frequently, but whenever the discussion strays in that direction I’m overwhelmed by the vitriol that I wish, just once, I could aim directly in his smug, smirking face. It would certainly make me feel better, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be anything he doesn’t already assume I think about him. Brian’s argument, though, is that “he doesn’t talk about you when you’re not around” — ha, maybe not to you. And maybe not now. But what about all the talking he did before we took our little break, when I kept my mouth shut out of respect for you?

At the same time, I’ve been tempted to sit down and have a real discussion with him — no frills, no yelling, no damning him to the fires of hell — so that Brian can have peace of mind about something that won’t change in the next 213 days until we move. I won’t do it, though, because it’s disingenuous. It’s false, and I do my best not to lie even if the lie will serve me better. At the end of the day, he won’t be welcome in our new home. I will still hate it when Brian spends time with him. I will dance with glee when they inevitably fall out again and are no longer friends for real.

What rankles me most, I think, is that I have to censor myself around Brian. Then again, ranting about it to him does me no good, and not talking about it does keep him out of the discussion, so for the moment I will seethe in silence. But let him try to talk to me…

Maybe the lie would have served me better. Sometimes, I don’t make good decisions. Sometimes I make bad decisions even when my mind is shouting out all of the reasons why said decision is a really, really bad idea.

Out of respect for the innocent (and the guilty), let’s just say that I made a bad decision, one that hurt someone I care for and respect very much, for reasons I still can’t comprehend but are no less valid for the confusion. In the attempt to sort things out, the other party in this clusterfuck urged me to tell the lie to save a life, so to speak. He swore that telling the truth would damn him forever and that nobody really needed to know the truth anyway.

That, however, is not how I roll.

I told him then, as I told my friend later, that I could not and would not lie about my actions – first, because I felt no reason to lie, and second, because I wouldn’t pollute our friendship with something so toxic.

Maybe the lie would have served me better.

The biggest irony of all is that my unfortunate counterpart seems to have come through unscathed and still enjoys the favor of our mutual friend, while I’ve been considerably less fortunate. Even this survey is overly simplistic, because there are other factors at play in both of our lives that quite possibly explain all of this; the fact remains, though, that the close bond I thought I shared with a friend I still love dearly has utterly disintegrated. I know I could reach out, but I’m afraid and confused and, truth be told, just a little angry — why should I be punished (or feel as though I am) for telling the truth?

Morning comes, eventually. When I was growing up, my closest unit was that formed with my brother and my cousin who, being two weeks apart in age, were more like twins. I love them both with the fierceness that only a big sister can muster. More than three years ago, though, I lost touch with my cousin after he left to move back in with his mom down South.

Sunday, he called to wish me a happy birthday.

My brother used his Facebook powers for good and went through more than 200 profiles until he found the one he was sure belonged to my cousin. He sent out a message, and waited. Saturday, almost a month after the original message, my cousin logged into his profile, read it, and called my brother. Now the good karma is flowing strong; together we’re looking for apartments so he can move back to Ohio in the next couple of weeks and be close to us again. Now, I finally have the missing link in our closest unit back where he belongs.

It’s enough to make the rest of it seem a little less daunting.


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