Saturday, January 06, 2007

I've got this energy beneath my feet...

Interesting feedback thus far on my question from this morning...continue to chime in, please. Meantime...the next installment

[This is part four of a long story. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3 first.]

Sam and BFFb beat the shit out of each other. Sam was convinced that BFFb had ruined his relationship and his life by encouraging me to leave him. I know it is a tough spot, and BFFb was sort of stuck between two friends with no way to make everyone happy. I think, for an 18 year old boy, he saw things a lot more clearly than anyone else did…and his assumption that things would have turned out terribly wrong if I had stayed is right.

I had some issues adjusting at school, and was really disturbed at the mess I had left behind (I certainly could have handled it better), but I sort of got on ok. My mother could throw all the tantrums she wanted…and not speak to me for a LONG time…but she was over 1000 miles away (actually 1,742 per Google) and couldn’t be a bitch to me any more.

Things didn’t go well for Sam, though, and for that I will always be sorry. He had lost his girlfriend and his best friend, and he sort of retreated from things for a while. He started drinking a lot, and probably doing some drugs (hmmm…I wonder if he knows my father?) and got into some trouble. It bottomed out for him early the following year when he got arrested for something and ordered into a treatment facility for a couple of months.

He stayed in touch with BFFg during all of this, so I knew what was going on, and when she told me that he wanted to talk to me (that was while he was in rehab) I said that yes, I did want him to call. [I had spoken with him two or three times during that fall semester, but it was out of guilt and the conversations were ugly. He was really nasty and really angry, until I stopped returning his calls].

It is remarkable what drinking and drugs can do to someone, because he was a completely different person after he got out. He was right back to the fun, bright, super-sweet guy he had always been. He spent a good deal of time apologizing and trying to absolve me of guilt…he finally admitted that he was glad I did what I did because I would simply have never been happy in Chicago and deep down he had known it.

BFFg kept reporting to me that he was doing well…he even went on a couple of dates…and I kept talking to him pretty regularly for most of that spring. Honestly, it was really good; I always loved him, he was one of my very best friends, and I genuinely appreciated him more having thought that I lost him.

I wasn’t welcome at home that summer, so I had decided to stay in Arizona (ever spent a summer in Arizona? It’s…um…hot). Then in the beginning of May, a couple of weeks before school was over, Sam made an interesting proposition... “I could really stand to get out of here for a little while, what do you think about me coming out there to hang out for the summer?” He was abundantly clear that he would completely understand if I said no and would never hold it against me, but that he thought it would be fun, and would be good for him.

So I thought it over, talked it over with the two guys I was gonna live with all summer (we had room for a fourth person) and then thought about it some more. After a couple of days, I called Sam back and told him “First things first…there can be absolutely no idea on your behalf that we are getting back together. If I get any idea that you are thinking that way, and you are going to have to leave immediately. But if you are ok with that, then yes, I think it is a good idea.” He said he was totally on board, and with that, I had a new roommate for the summer.

Now, in the course of our lives, there are certain things that we wish we could take back, and certain decisions that we look back on with regret. I don’t have many of those…I am pretty comfortable with everything I have done. But if I have to make a list of things I would take back, this goes right at the top of the list. I think I knew it was a bad idea at the time (I actually remember thinking that the other two guys were both very large and would offer some buffer if things somehow went bad…that should have tipped me off) but I did it anyway.

[To be continued]

5 comments:

Aaron said...

...

brookem said...

hmmm... interesting...

Tiffany 24/7 said...

Uh oh. Been there, done that. :( Good thought and a lot of heart put into the decision, but my brain told me it was WRONG WRONG WRONG... and brain was right. Coulda kicked myself for it, but learned a very valuable lesson from a mistake I'll NEVER make again!

ella w. said...

so the saga continues....

AZ summers are brutal! I was there one summer for a boon doggle (aka "training") trip and nearly passed out on the golf course.

e.b. said...

Okay this took a whole new and different turn. Was not quite expecting that one...