Somebody dear to me was in my dreams last night. We have not seen each other since last winter, and our conversations have grown shorter, blander, and further apart as time has gone by. It is mostly me that calls, and I think the answers nowadays may mostly be stemming from courtesy, and kindness, instead of interest. I made such a call on Monday, and this darling happened to have some good news to tell. Life was exciting and fun things were happening. And I was glad, and relieved, as one should be. But afterwards, I was suddenly overcome with jealousy. It was a powerful feeling, surging up through me like hot steam. And I almost never get jealous. It subsided quickly enough, but it was strong while it lasted, and equally surprising. Uncomfortable, but at the same time somewhat thrilling. Strange.
So many of my friends are back 'home', a five-hour plane-ride away. And with most of them, it is as if no time has passed when I fly back there, and casually sit down beside them on a couch. I will just get a smile, a hug, and that will be it. But some just seem to fade away. Granted, I am at fault here more often then not. It just turns out that I have no urge to seek out some of the people who I hardly meet anymore. Some are neighbors, others colleagues, some are just friends of friends, but some are people I used to be close with. These are people that I would meet routinely if I was still back there, even daily. And now, somehow, I just do not have anything to give them anymore. There doesn't seem to be a point in calling them up. And when they call, I am only on the receiving end. In the supportive role. Or accommodating the perception that we still have something in common, even if we have become a world apart. I don't think I am ever cruel or unkind in these situations. Just running on empty.
But then there are those precious few. People who I never thought would drift away. Some are friends who I had only just started to really get to know, and a couple are actually among the people I have known the longest. And still I see them grow softer in their greetings, quieter in their answers, more distant, less vibrant. I feel our bond unravelling. Their interest in me vaining. Until one day I realize that it is I that am making all the phone calls. That I am not needed by somebody, not wanted even, and that it is time to let go. Leave these people in peace.
And move on.