This was written to be as specific as it is vague, as alone as it is public.
Cracking up about sums it up for me. Is it mirth? Am I simply manic? Writing this I hoped to straighten my thoughts, to be objective, to reason out the otherwise chaos of conflicting emotions that threatens to break apart my psyche.
The holidays do not help. In the lull of activities, in the dark of the night, the conflicts within resurface. I confess to losing sleep over them, for I can no longer claim sanctuary of my mind. So I write. I am writing this at a time when the disequilibrium between us feels even greater than before. I admit this gave me no small amount of distress. At the same time, I wonder if it is even my place to be upset by this.
A while ago, I wrote to you. I was pleased with it then for it captured subtly my hopes and my fears. Since then however, the subtleties returned to haunt me. In a bid to remain subtle, I carefully skirted the main issue which if I were to be honest, should have been addressed. Except that it is not my place to. Except that I do not want to.
You said you would not want to ruin our friendship; that you would not want to lose our friendship. I will guess that it is the first reply that came to you, clichéd as it may be, not that it is lessened or made any less true. However, I believed there to be more and chose to look beyond into what was not said. In your own subtle concern for me (at least I chose to believe so), you never did say no to which I suppose I was mostly relieved with though I can never be sure if I ought to be. That remaining friends would outlast a relationship is also a loaded assumption. Should I cherish hope? Or was it simply a polite turn down? There are many questions to be asked, and just as many I would probably prefer unanswered. But left unasked? I believe that to be the main problem with all the courtesies or subtleties we accord each other.
Continuing along the same train of thought, courtesy also manifests itself in certain expected behaviours, or decorum. Staying friends has been a tightrope act. As with all tightrope artists, ceaseless effort has to be put into finding the right balance. As with all tightropes, it can only be a solo act. As with all performances, we don a mask; irresolute and unmoved despite the turmoil within. Decorum dictates these, and frankly, they become exhausting. With you it seems always to be in the context of work or within our group of friends, but there are times when I am simply concerned with you and the inability to express as such both drains and frustrates me. It may not be what is appropriate, but it is the truth; the absence of which leaves everything contrived and false. But as I have said before, it is probably not my place to feel this way and therefore probably not right. Except I feel, perhaps, not wrong too.
Like everything written thus far, I am struggling with the conflicts within, from the way I feel to the way I act. For you I have burnt and built bridges. For you I have loved and loathed. These are strong words, and I use them because I cannot cover fully the range of emotions, I use them because I want to state my position clearly. Except in distinguishing clearly the black and white, I neglect the shades of grey present between. Except it is everything described that I feel (black, white, grey), and then some.
At the end of the day, perhaps the subtleties before did better to capture everything. In trying to objectively identify exactly my thoughts and actions, I realise it would never be properly comprehensive. How can I describe the mess I feel inside when by myself, the serene calm of all-is-right-in-the-world when I am with you? How I loathe my dependence and miss my independence, and yet cannot quite regret ever having met you. How you make me want to be a better person, but at the same time the situation screams destruction. How you came to define my future, and yet only be concerned with the present when I am with you. How difficult it is to hold onto hope and sanity when I am the only one to believe, how hopeless it is to hang onto faith regardless. How bleak my future is in the radiant contentedness you so confidently exuberate, and how I would not have it any other way.
Except that I just did. Describe them, both sides of the conflict. Except they still are not everything.
I think I will give up reasoning. I accept the fate which I believe I have suspected was mine all along. I will continue to be that friend. I will wait. It is the only thing that I am sure of. That I feel, perhaps not exactly, but surely strongly, and for me it will have to do.
Except probably not.