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Born again Christians and Ex-Smokers

If you haven't been able to figure out what the two types of individuals in the subject line have in common, it's okay. I'll give you a minute. I don't want you to worry about the fact that the rest of the class has already figured it out. As I've told you before, you are not slow. You're just . . .okay, shit, if you haven't figured it out by now, maybe some remedial reading is in order. Go out and read, in no particular order, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and just for fun, try some Chomskey on for size. Then you can come back.

The answer is: They are the two biggest hypocrites the world has ever produced.

But, you know, there's a particular third type of hypocrisy that just bites my ass when I see it happening. Some of the best people I know engage in it on a regular basis and well, damn it, I'm here to tell them that I'm not going to put up with it anymore. What, you ask, could get easy-going little me into such an uproar?

Friends judging friends.

It just looks ugly, doesn't it? (And before you even think it, you sniveling little syncopath, that is NOT what I am doing here. I'm pointing out an ugly trait and habit that people I love and care about, people who really should know better, have been allowing to run free and play instead of snuffing the life from the dirty little fucker.)

Amy Castell Sterling, another writer friend of mine who is having smashing success lately with her beautiful little science fiction stories describes the act of fiction as "Telling two truths and one lie." So, here is a little fiction for you:

I've got a couple of friends who are, whether they know it or not, in the last stages of their relationship. They've been dating for quite some time, but lately, it seems as if they spend more energy trying to hurt one another when they are together than they do enjoying each other's company. Hey, we've all been there, right? You know that the relationship is probably over, but you still hang on in the hopes that maybe your just in a funk or well, to tell the truth, it's just too damned comfortable. As we all know, avoidance of pain just intensifies it in the long run, but it's human nature to avoid it all the same.

We know what happens here. We've all read the script and played our parts in this particular type of drama. And chances are, we aren't particularly proud of our behavior during these episodes. But we're all human and we get through as best we can. On a personal note, I stayed with my ex-wife for over three years because I was just too damned comfortable in a two-income household to leave. (All the while I was sabotaging the relationship, though, cheating with whatever pretty little thing that happened to come along. It was much easier for me to deal with her leaving me for cheating than my abandonment of her. Stupid, no? But I'm human, and I make mistakes.) We've all used someone at one time or another. We justify it however we can, but we use other people. Once again, human nature.

Now, these two friends should be allowed to play out this drama in whatever way they need. Let's face it, not one of us is morally qualified to tell them what they SHOULD do. We could tell them, but to do so would be to engage in a hypocisy almost worse than those in the title of this piece.

They need time. This will play itself out, each discovering and weening themselves slowly from a situation that causes them more pain than pleasure. How do I know this? Becuase happiness, too, is inevitable.

What they don't need is, unfortunately, what they're getting. There is this third friend of mine, and I'm here to to tell you, she is, was, and shall always have a spot in my heart. On the whole, she is one the most wonderful ladies I've met in years. But she's behaving badly.

She calls both of them "friend," yet she's acting in a manner which belies that sentiment. I understand her motives. She herself was drug along (allowed herself to be drug along) in a dead relationship for at least a year. The child-man she was dating screwed around on her and kept leaving her, then coming back. While it's true that sometimes, these relationships rebound and work themselves out, they have to do so on their own, without manipulation from outside sources.

And, boys and girls, that's exactly what she's doing. She spends a great deal of time--or has of late--around the male in this little drama. Anytime he speaks with or even initiates a conversation with another woman, she runs up and starts talking about his "girlfriend." She's preemptively cutting him off at the knees and keeping him for finding out if something could make him happier.

In the end, all it's going to do is drive him further away from his estranged girlfriend and from this friend. And it's all because of judgement. She was screwed and doesn't want to see someone else get screwed. Well guess what? If this person didn't want to get screwed, they'd left a long time ago. The handwriting is on the wall. If she chooses to ignore it, then she has her reasons. Force never solved this type of situation.

And now, what I really think: If his behavior is bothering her so much, then she needs to tell him. If she can't stomach his methods, she shouldn't keep calling him a friend and playing this little manipulation game bullshit. Not only is it dishonest, it's cruel. If you're reading this now and recognize yourself, KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF.

Let them sink or swim on thier own. Stopping throwing a drowning man an anchor.

Until next time,

Joseph Haines, signing off from the Edge of The Abyss.

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