Saturday, November 27, 2004

Forgiving may be overrated.

Nicholas was one of my closest friends in college.

He never ceased to be full of witty commentary; he was, as the rest of us refer to ourselves, visiously intelligent (not a scrap of modesty there, we know); and he was always.... well, there.

In the spring of 2002, admist the trauma of the thesis, the final research project and the prospect of being void of the college life, Nicholas and I, along with my recent friend Hillary, decided to move to New York. A bold move, yes. Agreeing to share a one-bedroom apartment on Staten Island could never have been anything but bold. But Nicholas had been accepted to the NYU graduate school and I was dead in the water at my current job of news producer --- all those years of hard work only to find out that I really and truly hated the news-- and Hillary was game for just about anything. So we drew straws (two seats in the U-Haul meant someone had to fly) and naturally I drew the short one. Having an avid distaste for flying, I wasn't exactly pleased to be the one strapped into a flying tuna can but figured it was marginally better than being strapped into a giant moving van on a 2-day driving extravaganza, complete with a yappity-ass rat terrier known as Maggie.

So in the death-heat of summer, we loaded up our belongings and I stood in my front yard as Nicholas and Hillary started their 34-hour drive to the great state of New York. The next day I boarded a plane to La Guardia airport.

In the beginning, things were great. The three of us were all so overwhelmed by what we had done, it was quite natural we relied on each other for amusement and comfort. Our apartment was devoid of any sort of air conditioner. It was on the third floor of a three-story walk-up. We were directly across the street from a major bus-stop. And we frequently had buzz-ins from our friendly local crack-dealers and homeless people. But it was fun. We drank too much at the bar around the corner, made friends with the Arab men in the bodega and took Maggie for walks in the park.

But things deteriorated by the second month and escalated to outright war by the end of November. We all let petty and trivial spats come between us. And by the time we all left to go home for Christmas, I was sleeping in a bedroom surrounded by two people who had formed an alliance against me. Sounds like a pity-party, I know. But looking back on it, I was rarely there. I had a 2 hour commute into the city and worked odd hours. By the time I had made it home, both of my roommates had left for their nightly evenings out. With no jobs to force an early rising, they both found it easy to enjoy the New York life everyone back home assumed we were having. So I, feeling left-out, made attempts at moodiness, bitchiness and sullenness. And they, feeling I had deliberately deserted them, reciprocated.

And then I heard from a mutual friend that they wanted me to leave. But naturally they couldn't afford the apartment between the two of them. So after a massive fight, I took up residence on my friend's couch in the city. I paid rent every month, left my furniture (as I couldn't afford to store it) and broke off all communication. And then I learned they had left the gas bill in my name. And refused to pay it.

So, long story short, I was stuck with a 14-hundred dollar heating bill. Nothing I could do (and believe me I tried), nothing my lawyers could do and nothing the gas company could do.

I honestly think all would have been forgiven if it hadn't been for that. In fact, in the weeks leading up to the heating bill fiasco, Nicholas and I had actually struck up a reasonably civil relationship. My occasional forays into the apartment to retreive clothing or books was no longer met by outright hostility. At least by Nicholas. I made great attempts to avoid Hillary.

And so I was stuck with 14-hundred lessons.

Now, Nicholas is coming to visit my friend Becca. And I'm unbelievably angry that I have to give up my friends until he leaves. I still can't quite grasp that she's still friends with him. I wanted Becca and Kasi to rally around me. But instead, they admit his wrongdoing and continue to love him and visit him. WHY??

And even worse, I don't want to be mad at him anymore. I want to hate him as violently as I did 2 years ago. I want to want him beaten to a pulp in a dark alley. But I DON'T, DAMMIT. But I also don't want to forgive him. Because forgiving him means I've let him win, right? It means that even in the sick little world that inhabits my head, he gets to come back in. I won't be able to even TRY and work myself up with self-righteous indignation.

Now, I have several options: I can sulk in my apartment, surrounded by the messiness of my brother and the craziness of my cats, sans friends. Or I can hope that maybe Kasi will desert the festivities for a while and be up for a beer tomorrow night. OR I could try to be civil with Nicholas and join the festivities. The past two times he's visited, I've opted for choice number one: sulking. Which is a really un-fun way to start off my Christmas season. Maybe this time I'll opt for choice number two. Or maybe I'll make an appearance tomorrow evening, under the guise of retreiving my sewing machine, and feel out the situation.



meghansdiscontent said...

You're a cracked out whore.
Do you have no other friends?????
Are you forgetting the rest of us???
You know, those that have NO desire to see Nick.
Those of us who have helped you through thick and thin.
Are we not worthy enough for you to waste your week on?

Love ya! Kisses and all that stuff!
Read my blog.
Oh, and I won't tell S. about this. I think he would be slightly miffed as well.
Honestly though, all kidding aside, I was a bit hurt.
Love ya.

birdie said...

you loser. go read your comment i put on your site. you read too much into that. hopefully it all got explained by my ramblings.
long story short: I'm just pissy because I have to give up ANY of my friends. and i'm even more pissy because of the WAY that i have to give them up.
the word usage "giving up my friends" was not meant to encompass ALL of my friends.