What a difference a year makes. Just a little over a year ago, E. resided on the list of “boyfriends who have done me wrong”. Today, surprisingly, you would find him ensconced upon a new list entitled “Friends”. It’s a short list and it requires my trust, loyalty and faith to make the grade. Just over a year ago, I was shocked to find E’s initial email sitting in my inbox, so much so that my fingers turned ice-cold. Today, his emails are some of the first to be opened – a respite from the sea of work emails that overflow from my inbox. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes beautifully written descriptions of the simplest of things, and sometimes just a brief word or two to say “hi”. I’m astonished to find that, a year after his first email, we are still conversing. Like other friends I’ve “reconnected” with, I fully expected us to exchange a few “social networking” words and then be on our separate ways. Instead, E has become a trusted sounding board. He was my #1 champion when I decided to attend culinary school, he gives me honest feedback (at least I think he’s being honest) when I solicit his opinion and he’s not afraid to call “Bull Shit” when I’m not being honest with myself.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I sometime muse about one’s personal “story” – that script that we’ve written for our “character”: I was an abused child so now I am destined to do X, Y and Z the rest of my life. I’m also a firm believer that we can re-write our story, that we can change how we see things. It seems that E and I have managed to do that – change our story. I’m very happy to now be able to call him my friend. What a difference a year makes.
“Have you ever had a difference with a dear friend? How his letters, written in the period of love and confidence, sicken and rebuke you! What a dreary mourning it is to dwell upon those vehement protests of dead affection! What lying epitaphs they make over the corpse of love! What dark, cruel comments upon Life and Vanities! Most of us have got or written drawers full of them. They are closet-skeletons which we keep and shun.”
Vanity Fair, William Thackeray
In my post of September 18, I briefly mentioned J, my Love from year’s past. N was J’s best friend and seeing N again, along with digging through old letters to find something for him, brought to light once again these memories of tragic love that I had so conveniently tucked away. Ours was a tempestuous and impossible devotion that spanned the years from 1989 to 1998. It could hold it’s own next to Heathcliff and Catherine or Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in its passion, drama, rancor and love. This tale of love is written in the poems and paintings he sent me, as well as my journal entries, and the letters we exchanged throughout the years – all of it kept by me.
This weekend, I decided to gather it all and write a book– not for publication and most likely not for others eyes, but so I can put it all down, once and for all, to organize, catalog and lay it to rest – before I forget. I realize my story would be dissimilar to his. I’ve completed 39 pages, mostly taken from my journals. N will play a role; he is inextricably linked to my relationship with J. I cannot publish it here – for fear the wrong person would see. It’s a book for me, a cleansing of sorts, to put into context the events that forever altered me.