Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not even in my head

I'm reading Hemingway's memoir of his 20s living in Paris, A Moveable Feast, and I was really struck by this passage about the breakup of his friendship with Gertrude Stein. Stein had been a close friend and mentor to him, but they had a falling-out. Although they eventually managed some sort of rapprochement, things were never the same again.
In the end everyone, or not quite everyone, made friends again in order not to be stuffy or righteous. I did too. But I could never make friends again truly, neither in my heart nor my head. When you cannot make friends anymore in your head is the worst.
I have trouble making and keeping friends. The ones I do make tend to drift away from me, and I don't fully understand why, nor how to stop it. I'll write more about that sometime, but of course that's not the sort of thing Hemingway was talking about.

He was talking about friendships that end in quarrels, breakups, falling-outs. Those are quite different. Having experienced one of those during the last couple of years, I find that the hurt, the anger, and, yes, the hatred all fade away. Even the sense of loss fades away, though maybe never completely.

That sense of loss means that in my heart, I can always wish we could make up, that we could be friends again. But I know that that's merely empty longing for something that used to be (or that I thought used to be, anyway). In my head, I can no longer even imagine that we could ever be like we once were. And that truly is the worst.

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1 comment:

  1. And it makes a mockery of the idea that relationships can be maintained for eternity.


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