Friday, June 11, 2004

Stirring the Ashes

Stirring the Ashes

As I sit here at Joe R’s on Broadway smoking a fine Tony Borhani cigar, my thoughts return to the meaning of the phrase "stirring the ashes.” I never really understood the phrase before, yet now it seems to be only appropriate as I reflect on the end of a promising new friendship. I've been thinking about how my friendship with “Bill”, a fellow classmate at Pepperdine, had moved from friend and comrade, to disillusionment, and now even fear. Earlier in the week, I had resolved to write about it to help the healing process, as I started the essay, I realized I was actually stirring the ashes, looking for something smoldering beneath the burnt remains of our relationship. And, just when I saw a dull red ember, when a small spark of hope appeared, Bill reached across the electronic ether and pissed in the fire.

It was a subtle thing really. My instant messenger client’s buddy list showed an obscene screen name in stead of the usual Bob or Carol. As I watched, the screen name changed to another vulgarity, and then another. It was Bill of course, acting out some puerile fit of rage. He was sending me a message; "I hate you", "I despise you". I confronted him via chat and offered an olive branch he threw it back in my face. He continued to respond with increasingly more obscene screen names, until I could no longer play his game. Finally, I took control and ended the relationship by wishing him well, saying goodbye, and then deleting him from my buddy list. I will always remember the date, time, and place this friendship ended. I will also remember his last screen, it flashed onscreen as I deleted him from my friends list. "You too?” – Yes, me too.

The Tony Borhani is gone to ash.
I brush them from my shirt,
and feel the grit on my fingertips.

Why does it hurt so much to loose a friend, even an asshole?

1 comment:

passthebread said...

Nice insight and not bad poetic imagery too. I think a way to have a little compassion on this guy is to contemplate whether he may actually be suffering from some type of mental disorder. I had a friend who i had befriended and made sacrifices to assist in his personal growth. He suffered a traumatic experience and became very hateful toward myself and my cohorts. Well, amazingly just last night after almost a year of not seeing this man, he wrote an e-mail. It seems he has been diagnosed with Manic-depression, with a heavy emphasis on the depression side. This illness makes him unable to think correctly. Now, he says he is on meds and is doing much better. Realizing some things are really part of a sickness helps our understanding and helps to have compassion.