The rats, in their respective cages, have hunkered on down individually. Normally, they all pile on top of one another to sleep during the day light hours, and then run about their cages performing various acts that are not unlike prison sex once the sun goes down. With the wind a howlin\’ outside today, though, they have spread themselves through out the cage, curled in tight balls as they slow themselves down into a deep slumber. Even now, though it has been dark for hours, they sleep silently and as individuals, instead of as members of a litter. Instinctively they know that the best way to survive the harsh weather outside is to stand alone and worry about only themselves. You can learn a lot about rats, if you really pay attention, and for the past few weeks I have done little else but observe the air outside.
Tonight, here in our human sized cage, Maude (who\’s real name, by the way, is Will), and I are hunkering down to weather out the storm outside, while creating one in here. Having purchased the necessary hurricane supplies (a bottle of tequila, a bottle of gin, a bottle of cola, bottles of dark and light rum, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of triple sec, pineapple juice, orange juice, cherries, oranges, lemons, limes, and a box of condoms), we are prepared for the worst. The worst, as it turns out, has nothing to do with the wind blowing outside, or the rain coming \”down\” horizontal to the ground. No, the worst is facing the truth, coming to terms with it, and moving on, all in about five minutes.
Over the past few years I have met people and walked away, numerous times. In the years prior, I complained about people walking away from me. The two, of course, are one and the same. People walk away from those they used to call their friends when they can no longer take their antics, whatever they may be. Mine have ranged the gamut, from self-involvement, emotional immaturity, over dependence, lack of my own identity, histrionics, raging mood swings, unreliability, vapidness, lack of ambition, and temper. In turn, feeling that I am getting better, I have walked away from people for the same reasons over the past few years.
Maybe it is my imagination, but I feel I am getting better. I have made amends with the past, and those that were most important to me are once again my friends. I see their lives moving forward, and I am overwhelmed with happiness for them. Admittedly, I am also aware of the feeling of being pleased that those with so much talent and drive are happy to count me among their ranks in one way or another. Looking over my emotional scrapbook from the past ten years, and I realize that I have come a long, long way — as hopefully one does from the beginning of their teen years to the beginning of their adulthood. And the way that I have arrived here has not been by what I thought would get me here in the past — relying on friends to pull me along by my copious leather boot straps — but by something I never thought I could count on — myself.
(And the rats continue to ride out the storm on their own, versus leaning on those around them.)
Perhaps what I am trying to say is that the more I pull away from those that I would call my social circle, the further along I get. My therapist has often tried to show me, as I pull away from friendships with people who are, essentially, emotional leeches, that to get better and have friends, then I have to choose friends who are, themselves, better, or at least significantly getting there. When I look around, I realize that the friendships I have maintained the longest, with those that I value the most, are the ones with people who are, actually, getting there.
For once, I finally understand why the people I love the most are the hardest to track down, but once the connection is made, the emotional and intellectual connections flow with the same electricity as ever. We are all growing up, but in our own ways, in our own fields, though that does not mean we have to grow apart. Therefore, there are no hard feelings when weeks, or even months, go by without hearing from one another, hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We are each busy delving into our new found lives as adults — as independent, self sufficient, sentient individuals. My friends are mostly artists (imagine that), and though I am not one, the passions are still as shared as before. When our paths meet for a few brief hours every cycle or so, we have so many tales to tell and so many new things to learn from each other. Be it the politics of Hollywood, the cutthroat antics of business, the power of a new song, the societal impact of activism, or the origins of design, we teach, we learn, we live. The best friendships are those that give and receive.
Maybe I am wrong, but I think I finally have things on track. I am going somewhere. I am busy like all fucking hell with school, music, research, and production. I take the time I have left over and spend it with those who stimulate and challenge me, introducing me to new ideas and constantly pushing things forward with every move they make. Above all, I spend it with people who are decent enough to be respectful of some rather necessary social graces, respectful of our friendship, respectful of themselves, and respectful of me. To hell with the rest of you.
Sometimes, it isn\’t that people leave you, it\’s that you leave them without even noticing it. So why should you be surprised, then, when they are no longer there?
We are off to the circle to play in the wind and rain.
http://web.archive.org could be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on your point of view. Proceed with caution. Sometimes the past is best left back there, and other times, the past is all you need to get started again.