I’m having a day. I have a lot on my mind of late. I feel the need to express some vulnerabilities and flaws. (Please, don’t hurt me for it.) I talked on the phone with the woman who was my buddy in basic training earlier. She explained I’ve hurt her feelings because the only time we communicate is when she contacts me. I felt like crying, but I didn’t. She said she wants us to be close again. This is confusing to me. I didn’t know we stopped.
I have no idea what took place between us to lessen the bond. I love her dearly. I have all along. She’s a beautiful person. Plus, she significantly improved my Sesame Street-level Spanish. She survived basic training with me. It’s one of the tightest bonds I’ve ever formed with a non-family member. I didn’t know it mattered who initiated contact. How can time weaken a friendship? I don’t understand. It’s like saying, I love you when I’m standing near you, but when I’m far away, my feelings change.
I told her I was confused, but I also apologized and asked her to tell me the rules. (It’s an inside joke.) She laughed and said she needs me to contact her once a month for no reason. I’m relieved to know. She said it’s not a universal rule, which frustrates the crap out of me, but at least I know what data to collect. I told her she can count on it. I’m going to contact her twice a month to make up for the fact I’m clearly using my calendar. (I’m an optimist.)
It will take a while for my heart to stop aching over this. I don’t know how to explain why I suck at being a friend. I only have hints to work with. I feel like I spend my entire life walking on eggshells. They feel more like landmines. It’s not for lack of effort on my part. It seems like what I intuit is often wrong. From there, I usually end up overcorrecting, which makes it worse. By the time I find the golden zone, most people have decided to cut their losses and move on.
People are like art. Each a universe of information and potential. As with art, interpretation is everything. The closer you observe, the more you get in return. If it’s music, close observation entails repetitive listening with intense focus. With people, you have to worry about observing too carefully or too often. Most people feel vulnerable when scrutinized. My working rule is to allow others to decide when they’re open to it. (I devour what’s shared consensually and no further.)
The problem lies in the fact people usually express their discomfort in secret code. I say secret code because the hints given vary widely from person to person. (Aside from outright proclaiming, “Hey! Take a picture, it last’s longer!”) All my data is from past failures: I ask too many questions. That’s a big one. I ask weird questions. Questions nobody ever asked them before, and they don’t have an answer already loaded, which is apparently annoying.
What I understand, is that people don’t really want to be as present in the company of others as is currently in vogue, but prefer popping in and out at will. (I’m working on this, too.) “Keep it light.” “Don’t be so deep.” “You’re too intense.” “Relax.” I hear it a lot. I’m trying. It’s counterintuitive and exceedingly counterproductive to my goal of understanding and relating to others. I know it’s possible. Other people do it all the time. I just have to decipher the secret code. (This is why I use a smartphone as an external hard drive for my meat brain.)
I need a computer to mostly fail at being a good friend. Oofda. I’m grateful I have a smartphone to help turn always fail into mostly fail. I’m making progress. I just hope the singularity occurs soon. I’m going to need a lot more time at this rate. I’m off to play my violin to some cows. I need to spend some time with creatures I understand for a while. Then I’m going to design an electronic drum kit for my foster brother who has cerebral palsy. In exchange, he gave me his old Tama Cobra 600 single bass pedal! He’s also going to show me why the way I set up my kit is apparently wrong, and give me other tips. (He’s an excellent drummer.) 🙃