*Long Post Alert*
Do you ever read a text message that just entirely ruins your day? I had one of those this morning, from a girl. Not one of my usual shit messages from cranky exes, you might be surprised to learn. I’ve mentioned this girl before, on Twitter, but I’m gonna give her, her very own blog post today. Why? Because she ruined my day.
She was my best friend on the other side of the world. I actually don’t know where I would have been without her. We had a great friendship, filled with laughter and fun, and we had more than our fair share of adventures too, mostly by accident.
We went to the big city for the weekend once, telling our better halves (her husband and my Big Love) that we were going to shop. We were. We had every intentions of spending a shit ton of money. We lived in a town right in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, and the nearest decent shopping spot was at least two hours away. The big city was, like, eight or ten hours away in the car, I’m sure. That’s how much we really wanted to go shopping. But it wasn’t just the shopping we were going for though. We were planning on being mischievous. She was bored in her marriage, and Big Love and I were always so up and down it could easily have gone either way at a moment’s notice. That’s what a coke habit will do to you. His, not mine.
We had every intentions of cheating on our respective partners that weekend, but it just never happened. We weren’t quite as badass as we thought we were, and we actually didn’t even end up talking to other men, let alone getting close enough for a cheeky, extra-marital grope. All talk and no action, that’s what we were. Comical, but also quite sad. We were young.
We were also super close, this friend and I. I kept her secrets and she kept mine. We would get hopelessly stoned together, eating our own bodyweight in Chinese food, watching the music video for Blake McGrath’s Relax over and over again. We were obsessed with that video. She kept me company while Big Love was away, and she also dried my tears when he would so spectacularly let me down again. She was everything I was looking for in a friend. I didn’t have a bad word to say about her.
She (I should name her) had another friend at the time. This other friend was in the music biz, and the two of them used to do a lot of stuff together, mostly music related. Writing music and lyrics, travelling to country-music-ville and other musical places, they were super close before I came along. They always wanted this musical career together. My friend always wanted to work in music.
Their relationship fell apart not long after I came onto the scene, and all sorts of harsh words and back-stabbing came from both sides. I’m not sure if they are friends now, but I know they weren’t for the longest time. This other friend didn’t like me much, and I think she felt that it was my fault their friendship had broken down.
Fast forward a few years, and I’d left the other side of the world and come back to my side. Just as you would have expected, our communications started to dwindle. She had one baby, then she had another. They bought a second house. They moved. The dog got put down. We told each other important things, the latest men in my life, for example, or the latest neighbor / ex / boy she had a crush on, but that was pretty much it. There was no more serious talk.
She was a good girl. I know I’ve painted her in a slightly bad light, but she WAS a good girl. To my knowledge, she’s never actually cheated on her husband. I just think we were so bored, we’d talk about it a lot. They’re still together, with their two babies and their two houses. She doesn’t work because she doesn’t need to. Her hubby earns enough for the both of them.
No longer in the music biz with her former friend, she needed to find something to occupy her time, and she decided she would try her hand at writing. I’m not sure if she ever wanted to be a writer, but I don’t recall her ever bringing it up with me. I told her my dreams, of course. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve always wanted to write a book. When she told me that she was writing a book too, I didn’t really give it much thought. People say that to me ALL THE TIME when they learn I write for a living. Plus, if it weren’t for my friend – this girl – I wouldn’t have the life I love so much now. I would never have tried to do the job I now do. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but she gave me ideas on how to get into it from a slightly different way. And that’s what I did. I have a lot to thank her for, and I actually think she helped me to find my ‘true potential’. I know that sounds like utter bullshit, but she certainly planted a few of those seeds in my head, and those seeds have now grown into full-blown trees! This blog is one of them. Her love life had been considerably less colourful than my own, and she loved hearing my stories. She was the one who told me I should start writing stuff down. That’s how my beautiful little blog was born, and now we’re five years deep in my emotional trauma.
Anyway, we started to talk less and less. I stopped telling her about man stuff, and she found new friends. She also found new hobbies. She started running with one girl. Like, seriously running too, in events and stuff. I remember looking at her and thinking, “Go on, girl!” I was so proud of her, even though we rarely talked. I watched her beautiful babies grow into beautiful little people, and I’ve seen new friends come and go. Her dream of being a writer kept coming up. In fact, it started to become the ONLY thing we talked about.
Before long, she even stopped using “Hi” as a way to start her messages, just jumping right in with whatever publishing / writer news she had next. It started to feel like it was being rubbed in my face – she was becoming the writer I’d always wanted to be, even though she’d always wanted a career in music. She jumped ship to my dreams, did them better, and then rubbed it in my face. She has no idea how I am, where I live, who I’m dating, what my life is like … She doesn’t even know that Bestie and I have ‘parted ways’. She never asks. I never tell. Why would I? Messages that I had been sending to her were being unanswered for sometimes days at a time. She was busy, I got that, and there was also the time difference … but I kinda got the impression that she had moved on. We were once close friends, we were no longer close friends, but I still didn’t really have a bad word to say about her.
I think I do now.
I hadn’t heard from her in weeks when the message popped through. Just “hi”, no more, no less. At least she said hi this time. I asked her how she was, even though I didn’t really care. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I was having a particularly shitty day. I’d had three miniature meltdowns before 1pm, and I got only woke up at 11am, after going to sleep at 6am. I’d been working the whole night.
“Bloody fantastic actually!”
Ugh. Well, I’m gonna love this, I’m sure.
She got a publishing deal. Not on her side of the world, on mine. She’s probably coming to my side of the world soon. She’s excited. She’s talking to this person and that person, and she’s pretty sure it’s all going to happen. Had I heard of this publisher, what did I think about them?
Right, fuck off now. Right now. If you had bothered your ass to message me once in a while, about something other than the dream of mine you seem to be stealing, you’d know that I’m having the hardest time. What I need is a friend, not a bitch rubbing her victories in my face.
The thing that frustrates me here is that I’d never ONCE heard of her talking about writing. Not seriously anyway. She loved to read, and write music. I knew that, but writing a book? Getting a publishing deal? I don’t know if we ever had SERIOUS chats about this. I never realised it was HER dream. We would have spoken in great depth about it, I’m sure. It just feels like she had her old friend’s dream of music and that went wrong, so she jumped to my dream of writing … except this one isn’t going wrong. I would be so happy for her, jumping for joy, in fact, if it felt like we had a friendship now. But we don’t ever talk. Ever. Yet she still feels the need to remind me of the publishing deal that I haven’t got, that she now has? Why? Doesn’t that seem a little brutal?
I’m really trying my hardest not to be a bitter cunt about this, and I told her that I was so happy for her in response. But I’m finding this a bitter pill to swallow. I don’t even know where this girl lives now, yet she feels the need to tell me every book-related snippet of information she has … ? She knows my battles with writing. She knows how I feel, and how conflicted I feel about what kind of writer I want to be. I don’t understand why she keeps deliberately bringing this stuff up in conversation, and making it the ONLY thing we talk about. I do know that it’s royally pissing me off. It’s like when Big Love and I broke up and she kept telling me shit about him that I didn’t need to hear … Why? Stop doing stuff like that. That’s not good friend behaviour.
I’m starting to wonder if there is a pattern to her behaviour though. First the music friend and the musical career, then the running friend and the running obsession, and then the writing friend and the writing dreams … It’s like she jumps from one to another. She told me that she didn’t want to have another child after her first one, but when her friend number four had a second baby, my friend had a second baby too …
I hate that I have bad words to say about her, because she was my closest friend for the longest time. I’ve never had a bad word to say, but the patterns in behavior are starting to make me think that I was a little bowled over by her, perhaps? That maybe she’s not as squeaky clean and innocent as I thought she was?
Jeez, first Bestie and now this. And that’s what makes this worse – she doesn’t even know what happened between Bestie and I. She doesn’t know about one of the most important changes in my life, but she’s free and easy with the information that I’m sure she knows will affect me. She’s a very emotional girl. she understood me so much when I lived over there, how could she not understand how this would hurt me too? I AM happy for her, deliriously so, and I hope it all works out great for her, but it’s start to feel like she’s stabbing me in the back and rubbing salt in the wound, all at the same time.
Ugh, if you’re gonna stick a knife in my back, you might want to get it in there quick. I’m starting to run out of room.
Side note: I am VERY happy for this girl. I am also incredibly proud of her. But … well, all of the above!