Throughout my life I have usually had but a handful of trusted intimates. When I was younger this was due to painful shyness, but as I have grown older, I have come to believe that this is the natural order of things. At any rate, my obituary will never read, “He never met a stranger.”
If one achieves the slightest amount of celebrity or notoriety. folks mistake shyness for snobbishness, but this is their problem, not mine.
Over the past few weeks my mind has been much occupied by the fact that my circle of intimates has shrunk by one, decision made necessary by what I view as dishonorable behavior on my former friend’s part.
This wasn’t an easy decision to make. I would give almost anything to have things go back to the way they were before, when I enjoyed the friendship of a man I had liked and respected for almost 30 years, a man whose counsel had sought on many occasions.
But no longer. I cannot hold him in the high regard I I once did, and this pains me beyond words to even think about.
Just one thing, one act I considered not only unworthy of him, but dishonorable, as well. Was it out of character? Well, certainly as far as I am aware, but only the most shallow among us shows the same face to the world all the time.
The human soul is as deep and unpredictable as the most turbulent sea; in most circumstances I might not consider his actions to be especially vile, or look down upon him, but circumstances are everything in the world, and under the circumstances, well, he has made our continued friendship impossible.
And, I suppose, that is what I really can’t forgive him for.
And so I mourn the loss of him in my life as much as one mourns the loss of a lover, or an cherished ideal one has outgrown. I will let him go his own way, without having to bear the weight of my disapproval, and hopefully one day, when I think of him, I will remember only the man I once admired for so long.