Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Missing.

One of the sentences on my "About Me" section says, "I miss people." The first chapter of my novel (which is really just my MFA thesis) is a survey of the main character. One of the questions?

What's the worst feeling in the world? My main character's answer (and mine):

"Losing someone. In any way."

I grew up in small town West Texas and had the same group of friends from the time I was three, with one major exception in my friend Robyn. When I decided to go out of state for college, I found myself in completely unfamiliar surroundings. I didn't know a soul.

Somewhat as a result, my freshman year roommate Larkin and I became instant best friends. And then we had a falling out. Which is its own story and not the one I'm telling.

After we graduated, we both moved to LA (she a few months after I did), and we became close again. That's another long(ish) story, but suffice it to say, after some time passed, I realized that while I called her a lot to hang out, she didn't call me so much.

So I put the friendship to a test. I stopped calling her to see how long it would take before she called me.

She didn't. So I walked away from the friendship. I crashed a party she had one night. I spent more time comparing chin scars with Matthew Perry than talking to her.

It was her going-away party before she moved to San Francisco.

Almost a year after that night at her apartment where I said to her, "I'm crashing your party," and she said, "I'm glad," she died suddenly from a congenital heart defect that had never been diagnosed. At 28. We hadn't spoken in at least a year.

I used to dream about Larkin all the time. She'd raise her hand in a wave. She'd smile the smile she always had on her face even when she was sad. She wore her clothes from freshman year. The black and white dress from Betsey Johnson. She'd be on swings. By escalators. She never spoke.

I saw her in real life too - for a really long time. Everywhere I went. Only it wasn't her. But it always took me a while to remember.

And I hated myself for never just asking her to coffee. A drink. Dinner. Whatever. Trying to figure out what had happened to us. Where the breakdown occurred. Understanding why she stopped calling instead of the choosing not to call myself.

Her 35th birthday would have been the end of this month. I would give anything to be able to pick up the phone and wish her a happy birthday.

Though I can never resolve what happened with Larkin, I have always tried to carry the lesson I learned into other relationships.

When a friendship breaks down, I do everything I can to repair it, even if it's my fault. Even if the fault is equal. Even if the fault lies heavily with the other person.

Because I miss people.

Because I hate losing someone, in any way.

Because I love people, maybe sometimes when I shouldn't. I don't know.

The problem is that you can't control other people. You can't make them tell you why they don't want to be friends with you anymore. With some, you know. You've screwed up too many times. And whether they've screwed up a thousand times more than you have, you still understand. They forgive their own moments (half the time they don't even recognize them); but they don't forgive yours. And while you can't help but care about them - as much as you might want to stop - they don't care about you anymore.

Perhaps the problem is I forgive their moments, too. I forgive almost anything.

Sometimes, even when the unforgivable point has hit, I still forgive. And I find myself having to remind myself of the bad parts of them, the bad things they've done or said, rather than forget, simply for self-preservation.

But sometimes, you aren't given the explanation. Someone walks away. And you just don't know why.

You can try.

You can try as you like. You can try as many times as you like. And it won't make any difference. You don't get an answer. You're just out.

I hate losing someone. In any way.

I miss people.

Sometimes I wish I didn't. But mostly, even when it hurts, I'd rather try. I'd rather forgive. I'd rather miss someone than walk away.

Sometimes, you don't have a choice.


Blogger Tomanbay said...

hey...found ur blog through a comment that was on a blog that was linked to by a blog I read..was interested when u said u r a writer..
anyways, I'm really impressed by how u r able to express ur feelings in a way which is at once both real, and sensetive without being cheesy...not a lot of writes can do that...
interestingly enough I wrote a short story about leaving ppl behind also, it was for a litreature recieved good feedback, but I really couldn't make up my mind on what the ending meant (dont u get that sometimes??)..anyways, here is the story:
(this whsahhar guy is me...but leave it as our own little secret!)
tell me what do you think about the charachter (me!) and what in god's name does the ending mean for him? (as u can imagine, i am trying to untie a knot in my life, by actually delegating the problem to the charachter...pathetic!)
note: if u feel like replying, do it here, or over at my blog...that credit thing at urbis is killing me (although it is a very good site!)

6:47 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

u can't know the value of things util u lose them , i understand why u r so keen on trying harder not to let go nor walk away .. but i can't do that.. i've been hurt in this matter more than once , i guess u can imagine the pain it causes when u r so loyal to a friend and dearly value friendship but u found urself being offended or ignored ...
seems like the ppl i'm referring to have other defintions for friendship i don't understand , still i can't cope with them.
I have some bad dreams about those ppl ,subconscious mind is unable to let go , although in real i think i stopped caring , but i guess it's not 100% true.
I think u can't forget someone u've given emotions to..ever.

7:30 AM  
Blogger pamela said...

tomanbay: looking forward to the story. (but what's urbis?)

rain: i think you nailed it - some people have different definitions of friendship and, unfortunately, not much you can do about it.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found you by accident, all I can say is WOW

4:47 PM  
Blogger Tomanbay said...

well the story is at the url i sent is a link again!
Urbis ( is a site where you can post your work for review by peers!

5:31 PM  
Blogger pamela said...

oh, awesome. very cool.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea. . .
You know, I asked you about that a long time ago, and you never responded.
I'm sorry to hear it happened, I'm sad she's gone (I didn't know Larkin well, but I knew her), I'm sad people sometimes die young, and I'm sad for you.

10:39 PM  
Blogger pamela said...

I know - I don't know why I never did. But thank you.

Funny, you've been on my mind ever since your birthday. I've been meaning to write.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm touched you would remember my birthday. . .

Write me. I'd really like to hear from you.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Lucky said...

I received a phone call informing me that I had been mentioned in your blog, so I sat down to read it. Is it strange that I was shocked by what you had written about losing friends? I have always felt that I was the one you threw away, that I didn't matter. I know where the breakdown occured, but had no idea how to fix it. Although we keep in touch occasionally, I know that we may never be as close as we were way back when, but I want you to know that I have always hated losing you. You literally saved me from myself and I will always be grateful to you for that. I miss us and what I thought was the greatest friendship two girls could have. I've never stopped caring about you and wish we were closer today. : )

11:44 AM  
Blogger forsoothsayer said...

hmm. maybe i should reconisder some people i've given up on.

3:45 PM  

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