At 5pm on the dot on Friday night, J rang me. I didn’t pick up. I listened to his voicemail later.
“Um, hello, Pat, um, I was wondering if you wanted to go for drinks tonight, um… give me a call.”
Instincts kicked in at this moment. I went home and blocked him on Facebook. I messaged the Assistant Organiser of an online social group asking her not to let him in. I got another voicemail later asking if there was something wrong with our friendship. In a third voicemail he said he hoped I had a good life. He was talking like we were the closest of friends.
Admittedly, it was shallow of me not to have “the conversation” with him and say, look, J, we’ve just not got that much in common, you’re a lot older than me and I’m more of a “groups of friends” type of guy. But why should I?
Years ago I was having sessions with a neuropsychologist, and I was explaining to him that I didn’t want to go to Manchester’s Gay Village, a cluster of gay bars. I had friends- mostly women- that liked to go there. He said, if you don’t want to go somewhere, don’t go. I said I feel like I have to explain to my friends why I make decisions like that. He said, why? Why do you feel the need to validate your decision to others?
It was an interesting question. I thought about that for a few days. The conclusion I came to is that loneliness encourages me to explain myself to people so I feel like they understand me. Yet, no matter how much I do, I still feel that sting.
Or maybe I’m more normal than I think. I dunno. What does a normal person do if he thinks someone isn’t cool enough for them? Do they tell them up front: “You’re out of the group”? I dunno. You’d think I’d have experienced this, but with most of the groups I’ve left behind I made the decision to leave; I wasn’t pushed out.
But, taking the neuropsych’s advice, why should I? Why can’t I just disappear like a ghost? J will no doubt stalk my eponymous blog for a month or so, looking for clues, (which he might find) and then disappear into the past. I’ve warned a handful of my mates not to let him contact them to get to me.
Feeling nothing is the way forward. You can’t let guilt exhaust you like this. Just move on and don’t think about it. Especially, don’t muse over it to the extent you write over 400 words on it.