Sleeping Wide Awake


I had a falling out with a friend over a film production we were trying to get up six years ago. The issue was meant to be settled shortly after,  but whenever we have any new disagreement, it becomes the fuel for him to attack me. He has no self-control in these times. He verbally eviscerates me, then apologizes a day later, citing he’s hot headed.

He thinks this is okay. It’s not that he’s intentionally malicious. But this is his methodology, the way he’s programmed to respond. He doesn’t have the self-awareness to change. And his logic has always been that friends argue, they forgive one another, and they move on – especially given our friendship has spanned more than four decades.

There’s much more to this story, more in the background and the avenues it took, the truths I believe versus the truths he believes, which is the nature of perception – we all see things differently. Especially the past. We remember it filtered through our own prejudices.

But it can be diluted to this recurring thing, and when it blows up yet again, he does so a year and one day after the death of my friend. I host a monthly Open Mic Night at work. My phone is in my pocket. I argued briefly with him earlier through texts before deciding to figuratively walk away from it. When I take my phone out later that night, I find it filled with a stream of dumb, vitriolic messages.

The vitriol I can deal with.

But I struggle with the dumb.

His accusations are groundless, and often nonsensical. They wouldn’t take much work to pick apart. But I no longer have the energy for this.

He offers his typical apology the following day, but I decide that his hot-headedness is not my problem. His attacks are, and that unrelenting bile on the anniversary of my friend’s death leaves me wondering why some people die, why some people leave my life, and yet a destructive, self-absorbed fuckwit hasn’t.

He tries several recourses over the next couple of days, and then again a week later. He may be genuinely contrite, but I’m sure many domestic abusers are also genuinely contrite in the heat of their apologies.

I’ve had it.

I’m not in the headspace to deal with this lunacy on top of everything else – especially through the unrelenting navigation of my grief, a course that’s become mined with regrets, self-loathing, and self-condemnation.

I can’t fix my best friend’s death, or anything associated with it.

But I can fix this.

I’m done with this fucking friendship.