Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Broken Up

The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again.

Alan Paton
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Broken hearts are tragedies and broken relationships are also tragedies if they were once good. How do you fix a broken heart? You can't. The heart can only fix itself through time and through the stitch by stitch mending process in which the sufferer goes over and over, revisiting all the bits and pieces, some true, some false, of the person or event that caused the break. Eventually the heart is healed and life goes on.

How do you fix a broken relationship? I think that's a more complicated job and even more important than mending a heart. Some broken relationships never get mended and that's the tragedy.

I had an actor friend who is now in the West. We did two plays together and then I saw his work, he saw mine. One day he introduced me to the woman who was to become his wife. I went to the wedding. He went off to do a major TV series. About a decade later he invited me to come out and spend Christmas with his family. He had three children, the oldest was 10. His wife told me they were concerned about how they were going to entertain me while I was there. They needn't have. I wasn't there a half day before I fell in love with those kids. Every spare moment I had they were urging me to join them in some sort of game. I was sad to leave.

Back home I sent an email with a remark about what a pleasure it was to meet the family and wished them and the kids a happy new year.

For some reason I will never understand my email offended them and it was answered by a series of very unpleasant remarks back to me about my attitude and incorrect thinking. It went on for a month, back and forth, me defending and explaining, they criticizing and maligning me. Finally, in sorrow and frustration, I wrote a long letter breaking off the friendship and explaining why. There has been no contact between us since.

Ironically this happened at the same time his wife was publishing a book about friendships between women that break up and where NO explanations are given.

Another friend, living in New York, went to Europe for two weeks and asked if I would watch his apartment. I agreed. He returned and I came back home. A month later I went to visit him and he presented me with a telephone bill; there was a call that lasted for an hour and a large charge on it. I never made the call. In fact I didn't even use his phone while I was there. I had my own cell phone at the time. But he is convinced I made the call, nothing can change his mind, he would not even answer my calls or my mail and we don't speak to each other any more.

Sometimes we return, in our imagination, or in reality, to the place where the break up occurred or to the place where the circumstances which caused the break up occur. It's like going back to a certain place to search for something you dropped.

I am still sifting through the pieces of my current broken relationship wondering if, like those before, it is impossible to be mended or if it will remain tragic. In my case it was a mistake, an delusion I had about the other person's character and behavior. It was a beautiful friendship in many ways and would have lasted and grown. But it was marred by an activity that was carried out in a manner that made me unimportant and unwanted. Things were happening in ways that I could not accept nor adjust to. So the relationship ended. The other person continues to go to the same place, do the same things in the same manner, thus continuing to downgrade and devalue me. Maybe that person is looking for an answer, something lost. I sit on the porch where the friendship first began looking for answers, looking for what was lost. We do not see or speak to each other, though I sometimes think we want to, if we dared.

The sweetness, kindness and gentleness of that beautiful friendship based on pure affection is what was lost. The rest is illusion.

Will it ever be mended? Time goes by, people grow and change, things are forgotten, new things and new people fill our lives and the opportunity for mending is lost.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.
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3 comments:

Geo. said...

It's certainly an enigma. You make me think back on it: I've mainly lost friends to dope and religion. Not a trainride I'd take to revisit. Always hurts. I take solace in the simplicity of being a guy: fuck 'em, hope they did ok.

Arlene (AJ) said...

We've all been through broken hearts and days, hopefully we've learned from them and can move forward in a new and better move from what we've learned...know you will since you're one strong guy DB.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I say that with a new place, make new relationships. Do you really want to bring the past to the future?