I'm having a good time at the moment, it has to be said. I'm looking at a longer spell of work with the private builder, my skill set is expanding, the money's still great and the danger level is low. I have lines to possible paid writing work (very early possible), a new novel is brewing and the feed back from my project last November has been positive but urges me to make 'hard edits.' The fact that I haven't been told to pack it in is great but that I feel I'm developing is even better! My Marvel role-playing game is about to start up once more after a long break and I've been cutting trailers for the individual characters that are all being very well received. All is good....and yet I am feeling guilty.
Years ago we ran with many people, a huge group of drinkers and smokers in fact. Everyone was welcome at the table (okay a few weren't) and we knocked about the pub, footloose and fancy free. Yes, people fell out, there were arguments, there were messy breakups and unfortunate events but for the most part we were young, happy and rat arsed.
In amongst that horde were some very close friends; many I still see and chat with regularly, some I have lost contact with or have moved to different countries, others? Others drifted away for other reasons.
Have you ever clicked with someone on a level so natural it just feels like you've known them forever? They could be any sex, colour, creed or religion, have any accent or dress any way but you just...got each other? Those friendships are special and even more than that they are incredibly rare? Someone you can sit in silence with and read while sharing a packet of fags...but separate books? Someone you love without the messy tangles of sex to fuck it all up?
I hope you have. I hope you held onto that love, that friendship, with all your heart and never let go. I hope you still play five aside football with them and then down three pints before heading home. I hope you meet for coffee and share pictures and maybe even holidays and weddings together. I hope you nurture that love.
Sadly, I didn't. We didn't. Obviously I'm not talking about my wife; an amazing woman who I love with all my heart, no, I'm talking about an old friend who just happened to be of the opposite sex.I friend who drifted away when our lives changed. We were thick as thieves and by god did we run together...but something changed and we just couldn't get each other back. Too much space between us.
Recently I found she is doing much better after a tough time. Things are on the up for her and I was hit by memories that split a smile across my face and stories I could never tell you about what life was like for us, me, her, and the relative few who I would classify as the 'mainstays.' But that smile faded and I felt something entirely unexpected. I felt guilty.
Guilty I wasn't there for her when the times got hard. Guilty I didn't help. Guilty I had allowed these years to be lost and that I hadn't tried to help, pursued our friendship, said something before.
I'm still feeling guilty.
It's weird because I wouldn't have my life any other way bar the obvious adjustments; money, job stability, success, and yet I wish I could have MADE room for this person. I should have. But I didn't.
I'm hoping I can meet her in the coming years and regain my friend. I know logically and realistically that I had to put my time where I did and that investing time with the people I did was the right thing to do...but I can't get this damn monkey off my back.
So here it is. Simple. Straight forward. What I have to say.
I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I'm sorry I didn't help. I'm sorry I couldn't help. I'm sorry I didn't make the time and I'm sorry we drifted apart.
I know typing this won't make the feeling go and I honestly don't want it to. I want to write to this wonderful, magical person who took me on that ride when we were young and say thank you. I wont say sorry to her straight away. I may feel too self concious or think it will drive her away, so I'll sit on it.
For now a song will do. What else could it be?