Severing Ties

 


 

I recall the last thing you said to me

And in anger yet

Not even face to face

But over the phone

Do you remember?

 

One forty-six in the morning

I know because I saved the call on my cell

Thirteen years of our lives gone in an instant

The moment you hung up the phone

Do you miss it?

 

I look back and wonder

What kind of man you are?

How could you fool me for that long of time?

Then again maybe you werenít fooling
Maybe you hated what I began to remind you of

 

I think back to when it all began to change

Between you and I

When it stopped being fun

And became more like work

Do you remember that night at Stockís?

 

That night when I saw something inside you break

My fragile friend brave to the world and god-like

But I knew something others did not know

Because youíd never let them inside long enough

But you let me inside those hollowed places

 

Stockís on 2nd Street

The night when you could no longer turn a blind eye

Not on something you suspected your entire life

The night when your father failed you as a dad

When you found out the truth once and for all

 

As your friend

I watched the struggle behind your eyes

I could do nothing but stand there helpless

My hands were tied and I was confused

With no clear path on how to proceed

 

I understood your state of mind

I had been there before on my own journey

That moment as children when we finally see

Our fathers as others do

Not as gods but as simple men

 

I watched in silence and could do nothing

I didnít have the wisdom to offer

And could not find the words to give comfort

Or instruct you how to behave

Thatís the day I failed you as a friend

 

Or maybe you began to change before that night

Maybe even as far back in time

As that one really awkward night at Kokomoís

The night when I came out and told you everything

Do you remember that night?

 

If we could have seen into the future

I wonder if we would have understood

Either one of us

How incredibly hard that night was going to be

Or how things would forever be changed between us

 

Itís quite amazing how things have turned out

Here I am in California now

And your dad is still firmly in the closet

And I wonder if youíd like me again

Now that you donít have to pretend or lie to me

 

Though I know this reason behind your anger

I donít believe it is the only reason

Or even the real reason

Just the excuse you used to further the divide

That began that rainy night at Kokomoís

 

These dark thoughts assault my mind

As I speculate when our paths began to veer

So far apart that now itís all over

Neither one of us seem to care

Or care about fighting for friendship we both needed

 

Take the day of the wedding

Many emotions careened through my mind

Nervous, unsure of myself

Worried about how you and I would receive

And handle the stress of seeing one another again

 

I was the Best Man you were the only groomsman

With Jason between us we were stuck

Standing there forced to smile

Pretending nothing was wrong for the cameras

And pretending forÖJason

 

My nerves were wound so tight the slightest pressure

And I would have crumpled like a rag dog

And the thing that vexed me the most

The thing that made my insides creep with pain

Was how calm and cool you were standing there

 

You were charming and pleasant to a fault

My beautiful fucked up fragile friend

Making small talk and ensuring Jasonís happiness

When you must have felt how nervous and scared I was

How frustrated I was, damn you, fucking damn you

 

In that instant

Much like the flash from the camera stinging my eyes

I realized you and I were no longer friends

And I hated that feeling being there with you

And that connection we had coveted severed in half

 

I was at a loss of words and unsure how to behave

How do I hide my warring emotions

From the man I had gradually grew to despise

Maybe my best friend standing beside me

And yet no longer my friend

 

How was I to react?

How do you proceed from that point?

I ask myself these questions again and again

And the only conclusion I could come up with

Was the one you already seemed to embrace

 

Yet how could you walk away?

How could you not want me in your life anymore?

I know Iíll never be able to understand

And somehow I am okay with that

You have your life now and I wish you the best

 

Everything is so confusing and painful

And whatever pain I caused you

From the friendship that you shared with me

I know you are better off now that Iím gone

And I am a better person by knowing you

 

Whatever the reason you protected yourself

I know that you did what you felt you had to do

Again my respect deepens but better off or not

My anger is still strong and I am still lonely

And you are still missed

 

I didnít understand it when you began to change

But I tried to give you room, something to laugh at

Tried to make your life a bit brighter but I failed

Maybe because something inside you changed

And you realized that part of your life that is hereditary

 

And in the end we argued more than we laughed

And more often than not you looked at me in disgust

Hating to admit this I knew it was just a matter of time

But I wonder now looking back from across the country

I wonder if you, Nelson, are as relieved as I

 


 

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