I was chatting last night with someone who had been a very close friend half a lifetime ago. I barely even recognize that time in my life now. And I hadn't talked to him, really, since I'd gotten here. Things had gotten kind of dramatic between us in that sort of unspoken boy-girl way. So for the past decade or so, we exchanged a few occasional e-mails, but we couldn't get a good rhythm. The closeness was very clearly gone.
And last night I thought, hey, he used to be really important to me. And here he is on Facebook, so I'll chat him and just say hello. But then we started really opening up and I asked him why we weren't friends anymore. I mean, I thought I knew the answer, that he had done something to piss me off that I was graciously forgetting.
It turns out that it started with something I had done 14 years ago. He was unhappy, and I started trying to fix his life. I thought that maybe he was gay, and if he could just figure it out, he could be really happy. I'd had a couple close friends come out not too long before I met him, and they were transformed by it. And I thought, here's this gift I can give this guy. It was ultimately closed-mindedness masquerading as open-mindedness.
So he really thought about it. It confused him. And I dropped it after a while, but I had been so sure about it in the beginning that it stayed with him for a long time. It ate away at him. And all this time, I had no idea. So I apologized. I really had done it out of love, out of a desire to make him happy.
But then I realized I'm still doing the same shit today. I haven't tried to out anyone in quite a while, but I still try to force happiness on people. I just want people to be so happy so badly that I end up steamrolling over them sometimes. And yes, I know it's counter-intuitive and jacked up. I just hope that people won't wait 14 years to tell me anymore.