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Why does this happen?

I've known for a number of years now that friendships are transient. I've known that people you care about will enter and leave via the revolving door of your emotional well being. I've known this. I've preached this. I've consoled using this line of banter:

Friends bring something into our lives that we need. We, in turn, give them something that they may not have had prior to your acquaintance. When the giving stops, it's time to let them go gracefully to whatever new experiences await them down the road.

And yet, I find myself saddened lately. Even at their most difficult, friends bring novelty and outside experiences and wisdom and love. They do also bring frustration, agony, disgust, and upon occassion pure, black anger.

So what.

I've realized that my friends are moving on. So am I, but the temporary void is excruciating.

What happens, anyway? There's this lady I know, a friend to be sure, that I really haven't spoke with in months. I've sent an occassional email, but it's just a brief note and then weeks of silence again. At one point we had a very good friendship. We had the same black sense of humour. She and my wife get along famously. We could talk about things that you couldn't necessarily discuss with others, even those you counted on as friends, yet something happened along the way. Something . . . well, distancing and the hell if I can figure out what it is.

It may be that she just moved on and didn't really have anything left to say or that she wanted to hear. I've tried to bring it up a couple of times, but it doesn't go anywhere. There's nothing like denial to pretend away the distance, is there?

And you know, this is just one isolated instance. Hugs that used to come naturally are now entered into after hesitancy. You know what I mean. You almost begin to believe that a handshake is going to become the greeting of choice sooner rather than later.

Where do we go? Why do we do this to ourselves? The world is too full of people we can't stand to let the ones that make us smile and laugh and feel like family get away.

But we do it anyway. Time and time and time again.

I've lost a number of friends in the last year or so. Now part of it is my fault. I'm a cocky bastard sometimes and I should learn to shut my mouth.

Yeah, right. That's going to happen.

But even so, the number is pretty high. Some don't bother even with pretenses, some do.

I miss you all.

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

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