We met 12 years ago when you responded to my Personals ad in the back of the Gay People’s Chronicle (remember those? Ah, pre-internet days…). Although romance was out of the question, we had far too much in common to not be friends. We had the same sense of humor, the same taste in music and TV, the same “stuck in Cleveland while gay” feeling. We became fast friends, the best of friends, talking almost daily about nothing, the way good friends can do and not be annoying. When we went out clubbing, people often asked if we were a couple since we were always together, laughing at some shared inside joke.
8 YEARS AGO
It started as one of our normal phone conversations but suddenly took a very strange turn – what started off as a joke got pretty uncomfortable as you started asking question after question about what my then-current boyfriend and I did or didn’t do in bed. At first it was harmless fun, but it got more and more irritating as I told you I wasn’t going to answer those questions and to let it go. You wouldn’t let it go. It was a childish argument, I admit - I was a lot more uptight then, but you should have respected my repeated requests to stop asking those type of questions over and over. The call ended on what I thought was an okay note. I discovered how wrong I was when you didn’t return my calls, even the ones where I apologized, although I had nothing to apologize for. I’d see you and your boyfriend out and you wouldn’t even look me in the eye, much less acknowledge me when I said “Hello.” We didn’t speak until…
5 YEARS AGO
…you happened to stumble across my profile in an AOL chat room. I had moved away from Cleveland to San Diego two years prior – you didn’t even care to call me and say goodbye. The fact that you thought so little of our friendship that you could just cut it off cold turkey like that weighed on me. In the three years we didn’t speak, I thought about you often- what you were up to, how your life was going. And here you were, IMing me out of the blue, single, saying hello, wondering how I was. I was standoffish at first, but soon we were talking on the phone, working things out, both apologizing and regretting missing three years’ worth of friendship. You even came out to San Diego to visit, and we got together each time I returned to Cleveland. We were the best of friends until…
4 WEEKS AGO
…you met someone and made a date for the weekend. All week long we talked on the phone about it and you were stressing yourself out…how should I act, how should I dress, where should we go? Finally, Saturday, the day of your date came around and you called a half hour before you were set to leave, wondering which outfit you should wear. That’s when I told you it really didn’t matter and to quit stressing yourself out over a simple coffee date – just go and be yourself. It seemed like one of our normal conversations to me. Well, I can only assume that offended you for some reason because, once again, that’s the last I’ve heard from you.
I’ve called several times to only be put directly to voicemail. I’ve left a couple messages, no call back. Once again, I have nothing to apologize for, yet I’ve still taken the first step. Then a couple days ago, I stopped and thought, “Why?” Why am I trying to reach out to someone who still, after 12 years obviously thinks so little of me? Someone who can just stop on a dime and say, "This friendsship is over"? There’s a major difference between the last time you did this and this time - I’m done. I'm now 37 years old. You’re 42. I have no anger toward you, but I’m a grown man.
Goodbye and good luck.