Before anything else, thanks to Caitlyn Kelly for suggesting that I post this, sight unseen. Let’s see how it goes.

I have lived in a lot of places, with a lot of people moving into and out of my life. I grew up in a military family, surrounded by other military families who were also constantly on the move. This changes things.

I figured out early that my base housing relationships were going to end and, most likely, they were going to end suddenly, with seldom more than a couple weeks notice. I wrote letters, maybe a few letters, to see how things were going, but it was inevitable that, by slow degrees, the distance would grow. The changes would come and we would not be there for them, until my Friends and I became people we used to know.

This used to hurt me. I didn’t understand how so many people I liked and remembered so well could just forget me. The old feeling of hurt has faded into a sort of humble acceptance that I, as a small part of the past, shouldn’t expect to be that important in the present, so good luck to you all and no hard feelings.

I have Friends now, seven at last count. They have seen me when I would much rather they had not and held me in their hearts even though I felt I didn’t deserve it. My Friends don’t all know one another but whenever I am with any of them I belong, and belonging is everything. I Love my Friends and, sad as it is to say, that’s not good enough anymore.

The wheels of progress roll and, while many good things come from this, far too often things of immense value are left ruined in the ruts they leave in their passing. Things like Friends.

The Gospel of John says ” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I’m an atheist and, gender politics aside, I feel certain this statement is in no way an accurate reflection of many people’s Facebook profile.

Sometimes I hope for some friendship and end up with a broken heart. I will meet someone and find I really like them, then something will emerge that I simply can’t abide, can’t respect. If I still think it’s worth it, I’ll try for a while but it usually rankles to the point that the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

Let’s not make any mistakes here. Often as not the problem is me. I’m less than diplomatic and people don’t like that, even though it means I’m addressing them like an adult. Some people don’t like that either.

So here I am in my shop and it’s LONELY. One day this will end and my friends and I will be together once more. I will, however, still be me, just like they will be who they are and we will belong.

To the friend I had who was taken by the covid-19 pandemic, I could not be more deeply sorry. This aside, all the sorrow and regret, the tender words and forgiveness can’t change the fact that we should just not be friends.