The Reality Show Whore
An old college roommate of mine is an Average Joe, on of course, the show by the same name. We no longer speak, haven't in years--there was no closure, no goodbye, just phone calls and emails that went unreturned. It was a hellauva year that started out with lots of partying, lots of laughter, and bonds that were tighter that Sister Mary Margarets chasity belt. He and I would often sneak off to be alone, either in a locked room to take one more hit from the bowl, or like once when we snuck off at one in the morning to go to a casino 50 miles away. He brought out the spontaneous side in me, which was about the only gift he ended up giving me.
Here's a little background--he's one on those guys who makes you feel so special that he manipulates you into falling for him. He's charming, intelligent and funny. Like one of his favorite music artists would say, "he's quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke, but there's some place that he'd rather be." And that some place is not actually with you, but the skank at the back of the bar wearing a tank with no bra and a skirt so short she's self-consciously tugging it down "accidentally" revealing her throng straps and crack...a classic "come fuck me" look in the lovely state of Kansas.
Seeing him as an "Average Joe" after all his manipulative games was surprisingly kinda fun. It was fun seeing him get hit in the face with a dodgeball. And it was fun seeing him sweat hoping he wouldn't get put on the bus to the land of plastic surgeons and life coaches. It was fun knowing he more than likely was playing the producers when he declared "I can see myself really spending the rest of my life with her." (Or something of that sort.)
What I didn't expect was my reaction to him. After almost 5 years of not talking I find myself still angry for events past. Still angry that another manipulative bitch made him choose who to be friends with, her or me, and because he was such a pussy and couldn't stand up to her, he was forced to choose her.
I didn't expect that I would have flashes of memories of "home movies" made from my own camcorder. Tonight on the show he walked into the house kitchen and said something like "we're already eating!" with the emphasizes stressed on the "ing"...Only the way he could pronounce it. I flashed back to a piece of video I shot where my 3 other roommates and I were in the kitchen in the middle of the night preparing a munchie feast and he was over the stove making his traditional queso dip. I see a photo in my head of us at the park with him and his guitar and how we used to make up songs and laugh til it hurt. I see the photo of us taken on Halloween that he gave me on Hanukkah that he hung over my bed in that small stuffy room in that dirty and falling apart old house.
Why is it we sometimes keep the harsher memories? I hate to admit that thinking about these good times and good memories have actually made me smile.
It's so easy to play to the victim as it's so hard to forgive and let go of the feelings of hurt that lived with me for so long.
I thought I had let go a long time ago. But hearing his voice, and seeing how he's--dare I say--grown up?--at this moment, I still hold feelings of hurt and anger--but also, for the first time, in a long, long time, I think I miss him.