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Archive for the ‘Goodbye’ Category

For the last few weeks, I have been developing an outline for the next book I plan to write. At this point, it will tentatively be titled “Healing My Anger – Defusing A Time Bomb.” It is about my journey to unearth and resolve a terrible well of anger and rage I discovered. One of the pivotal points of that book will be about a bizarre event that happened to me – a group of people came over to my apartment late at night, and performed a bogus group encounter with me.

I used to call it an intervention, but I realized that gave the misimpression that what happened was somehow legitimate. It was not – it was an exercise in the power of a group in dysfunction, incited by a strong and charismatic leader. I’ve written about that evening before, in a post called “The Betrayal.” That event led to a whole series of events which propelled my growth in astonishing ways, because it forced me to deal with anger that I hadn’t been able to access previously.

This will be a powerful book – I can tell that already. But for the past several weeks, I’ve had the feeling that I was missing something. I just couldn’t think of what it might be. Then yesterday I realized – I had left out one major event. Then I realized that this would have to be the end of the book. I needed to get it on paper, so I wrote it all down.

It’s the first time I’ve ever written the ending of a book before I wrote the beginning. But it was absolutely the way the book had to end. For a number of years, I had not been around the individual who stirred up the event that night, who I renamed Rob for purposes of the book. We happened to end up at a party together.

******

So here is what I wrote:

In 1996, I decided to move to Austin. I went by a party that was being held by one of the people in the recovery program. It had been a fun party for a number of years, and a source of fond memories for me. Rob and Nancy were there. It was the first time I had been around either of them for quite a while, and naturally there was some awkwardness.

After a few minutes Rob came up to me and said “Dan, can we go outside and talk for a minute?”

“Sure, Rob.”

We stepped outside, and I wasn’t sure what he wanted to talk about. I had gut checked my anger before agreeing to go, and there just wasn’t much steam in those old issues. At most, I felt a little edgy – because of the unknown.

We sat down on a bench outside the party, and Rob lit a cigarette. He sat for a moment, and it looked like he was gathering his thoughts, so I didn’t say anything.

“Dan, I want to apologize for my part in what happened the night we came over to your apartment. That was totally wrong, and nobody deserved to go through what happened to you that night. I am sorry. Genuinely sorry.” He looked me directly in the eyes as he spoke, and I could hear the genuineness and sincerity in the way he said the words. His words were simple, elegant and direct. I was so deeply touched I didn’t know what to say. I was quiet for a moment.

“Thank you for saying that, Rob. I do appreciate it – probably more than I can express right now.”

“Can I give you a hug?”

“Sure, Rob.”

We hugged, and then walked back inside the party.

I lost touch with Rob when I moved, but after that night, for the two of us – we were at peace.

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Being true to yourself,
Can involve losses,
Things don’t ever
Stay the same
As I evolve
Sometimes things change
Friends drop off
Along the way
Why do they leave?
Sometimes they don’t say.

But one person said,
“It just wasn’t that important
To talk to you any more.”
Well ain’t that the shits?
She and I had been friends
For ten years,
Been through tough times
Supported each other.
Then I felt
Her pull away.
I still don’t think
I know the real reason
Why she left.
I suspect
She doesn’t either.

I tell myself
That it’s OK
But that is to
Protect myself
Because it hurts like hell,
When it happens.

Sometimes its gradual
Time spent together
Grows less
Interest in your world
Grows less
Then comes a point
Where you sense
They are listening
Out of politeness
And not because
They care any more.
Don’t disrespect me
By faking nice.

What can you do?
Try to hold on?
Won’t work
If someone is intent
On leaving.
Just gotta let go
But it hurts
One less person
To be there for you.
One less person
Who’s got your back.
The group gets smaller
That you can call friend.
You feel the twinge –
I feel lonely.
Well that really sucks.
It is what it is.

The other side of it,
There’s room in my world
For new people
To flow into my life
And as surely as
The old friends fade away.
New friends are emerging.
Being there.
Honoring my writer
Enjoying my poet.
Hearing when I speak.
I really like this part.
Life feels more rich
Because of the new friends.

*******

Note: I read some of my older poetry at an open mic event last Saturday night. I came home and wrote this poem. I went back and read it this Saturday night at the open mic event. I think they call that generativity! 🙂

Photo credits: Courtesy of Stephen McCulloch, Kevin Higgins.  Creative Commons via Wikimedia.

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