Saturday night was a mess. And I wasn't drunk or angry or embarrassing or slutty. I didn't vom in my hair or wake up naked with a burrito on my chest. Those stories happen often and never get old but Saturday night was definitely unique and not really in a good way.
Here's the thing. My beautifully gay older man companion SP consistently fills me with enlightened wisdom that I don't want to listen to because its easier to be childish and impulsive. One thing he said was that "You should go into every argument assuming that at least 30% is you." And I've thought about this after the fight (I use that term loosely because I was kind of just yelled at) I was in that night.
A friend (or former friend) or mine FLIPPED out. And I understand that he was hurt and that he was angry and that he or we had some unresolved issues. Literally all I did was start talking to him. For most of the night I could tell that something was amiss but when he said, "You really think I should say fucking hi to you?"
I'm going to say now that for posterity: I'm not going to fill in the details of why he was so angry at me. It's not because I have anything to hide it's because I think that discussing my issues with other people instead of him contributed (in part) to his explosion of anger on Saturday night.
But I do want to say that I did something wrong. I have regrets. Maybe I should've tried harder. Perhaps I should have more fully discussed my issues with him tried harder to make him understand why I was so pissed. And if I hadn't maybe I shouldn't have said anything at all to anyone.
Either way, I'm disappointed. He never even talked to me. He assumed the worst and trusted the words of other people instead of talking to the source. While I can admit my own culpability I can also say I tried to talk to him. I voiced my complaints first delicately then more fiercely but for some reason he didn't or couldn't hear me. One of the sources of my anger began when I started feeling both disregarded and disrespected. I'd been there for him when he needed help and taken on responsibilities I didn't have to and instead of being treated like a partner and a friend I was treated like an inadequate employee who couldn't listen to direction and was blamed when things (I'd taken precautions to prevent) occurred. Anyway, I think that his disregard of my opinion contributed to the events on Saturday night. He didn't talk to me for the same reason I stopped trying to talk to him, In his view my words had no credibility and wouldn't have made a difference.
We were at a bar and he yelled at me and I was shocked then embarrassed because it was our friend's birthday and it was in public and we'd been drinking. And when I said "I can talk to you about this when your sober" he said "I don't want to talk to you when I'm sober" and at that moment his hurtful and irate words were falling on deaf ears because as Claude says, "you can't argue successfully with the irrational".
And long before Saturday I thought I'd lost a friend. He'd hurt and annoyed and pissed me off so entirely that I was done. And after I'd tried on multiple occasions to talk to him, I'd listened to friends when they said that saying anything to him wasn't worth it. And while he was yelling at me, name calling and gesturing he broke some glasses and had to be held back by some of the boys I was slipped into fear and then calm. I was calm because I was resolved but I was also sad that our relationship had deteriorated to this. But before I go on I want to focus on the phase of fear I felt when the violence and anger was escalating I was afraid.
I've never been in a physical fight, but I have been attacked verbally before. Someone else has tried to harm me but never a man who could've knocked me cold and never someone who I'd considered a friend once.
That being said my culpability doesn't end with saying things to other people. I'm starting to realize that I have a remarkable ability to get under skin. I can say things that are hurtful in an artful and effective way and do it without regard to emotional collateral and (at times) without knowing how effed they actually are. Saturday night in league with SPs cautionary words have forced me to introspect. I find myself look for answer to questions like : How different is physical harm from emotional harm? Is there really a barometer which can compare them and calculate which is worse?
After this friend was pulled away screaming things like fuck you, C, you fucking bitch (on his way to being moderated by mutual friends) a bouncer came up to me and asked if I was OK and did I know where that asshole was and said he was going to kick him the fuck out and asked if he had thrown a glass at me. As vindictive and spiteful as I have been at times in my life I know how quickly things can escalate and I found myself saying that he was fine and he was just a little drunk and he knocked the glass over by accident and that he just needed a minute but the truth is I had, still have, no idea if any of those things are true.
I'm not some sort of enlightened human being and I'm not trying to sound self-righteous. So I want to be clear and say that I'm not sure why I didn't point him out to the bouncer or the undercover cop nearby who I'd seen entering the bar. I'm not sure why I didn't finger him or get him thrown out. I'm not sure why I wasn't even angry. It wasn't because of guilt and I definitely didn't feel like I deserved that. I don't care what I said. I didn't deserve that and it wasn't my fault. But it does allude to a question I've asked previously about giving up on friends. Can you ever really be rid of them or is there part of you that will always remember what things were like before? How does nostalgic sentiment alter how you interact with a former friend even after the person you knew and enjoyed is gone? It's really the only thing I can come up with but the floor is open for suggestions.