This piece of writing came out of a real experience I had with a close friend. I ended up turning this into a dialogue, rather then the story. But here’s the draft one that I haven’t changed in 4 years. Tell me what you think.
Something I Said
There was something I said and something I had done that got him thinking. He was with me the whole time, he wanted something from me. Something inside of him wanted something from the inside of me. He said to me on the drive home, ‘how is it that you had a good time, we never talked once.’ I told him I got a lot done but neglected the fact that I was with someone else. I did what I wanted and he did what he wanted, the only problem was that what he wanted was my attenion. Me is selfish. Me is projects and deadlines. Me is what I want over what he needs. I never wanted to come in the first place. I never wanted to sit in that stupid car of his with the broken heater. He always invites me and I say no most of the time. My reasons were never rooted in anything valid, except for my own agenda and my avoidance of him.
What else are you supposed to do in a waiting room. Am I supposed to sit there and wait, am I supposed to stare at all the people desperate for help. I am not going to stare and watch around me. I only came for me, not for him, not for them.
He acted like he didn’t care, as if what I was doing was okay with him. He smiled as if this was who I was. I could tell this wasn’t the case, he wanted me to stop. He wanted me to drop everything I was doing and look at him, ask him how he was doing. What is in your heart, what is moving inside of you today? I think I know you, but that was yesterday, what about today, what about right now in this moment what are you feeling.
Like the bitter cold and teeny flakes sprinkling from the sky we were drifting apart. The temperature in the room changed and we no longer sat next to each other, we no longer interacted in the way that we had in the past. Usually I sit really close to him, most times to close, he smiles and is okay with that. That cold morning we began to drift. I just want to go home if it is going to be this way. I want to go. I want to get back in that freezing car of yours. I would rather be selfish by myself then with you.
There was something I said and something I had done that got him thinking. He watched me entertain myself the whole time. I tried to bring him into my world, I tried to pull him into my project and that’s not what he wanted. I brought something that he didn’t need.
I sat in the back on the way home avoiding talking about what had just happened. I covered up the distance I felt by thanking him for taking me. Like it was his charity to bring me, like this was supposed to be a memory worth telling a story about, worth blogging about. I said I had a good time, I got a lot done. I did everything I wanted to do except pay attention to him. ‘How is it that you had a good time, we never talked once.’ He brought to my attention that we live this way many times and we don’t even know it.
I stayed up late thinking about what had just happened. I finished my project. I didn’t waste time but I wasted an opportunity, I wasted a moment that I will never get back. I fell asleep, I woke up. Upon waking up I made a decision to never do that again. To be there for friends when they need it. To put away what is important to me(selfish) to serve another.