Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's tough saying bye to an old friend. I mean bye, not see you later, not I'll give you a call... just bye, I'll never see you again. Not because you're just mad, but something tells you that you can't be around that person... that things are better off if that person were not in your life. That that person would be better off without me. Well I toy with that last statement so it doesn't seem so selfish, but I can't justify it. My mind is wrapping itself around the idea.

Setting: It's late night, past midnight, Friday night. The day... not like any other day. West Orange, NJ.

So I'm awoken by a phone call from my friend .I ignore it. I'm half asleep, not in the mood to talk, or do anything for that matter. Silence. The call "rings out," quietly. Agh! Again, she calls. I'm alarmed by my ring. I think, she's probably just bored or wants someone to talk to. She's done this before. Again.. to voice mail. One more time, my phone disturbs me. I know she's in a personal crisis. I have to pick up.

I'm greeted with a confused, uneasy hello and I dive right in. What? Where are you? Calm down. Drunk... Morristown... stranded... walking down a street.... she doesn't know where she is. Anything but calm. I already knew I would be driving as soon as I got the third call, so I'm already getting dressed, while trying to calm her down.  You'll be fine. I'm coming to get you. Just stay where you are and stay on the phone. She's no less frantic nor any more sober. I'm not worried. She's able to walk, read a street sign, and her cell battery is practically full. How do you even get so drunk with friends, separated, and then stranded? There's got to be a whole slew of wrong decisions in there somewhere. This isn't the first time...

So I'm off. It's instinctive. I don't necessarily want to do it and also think that if I didn't answer her cry that someone would. I have a conscience though. How unfortunate for me. I think why am I doing this? Maybe I'm an asshole for thinking the way I do. Maybe I should be glad. Maybe I should focus on the fact that my friend's in trouble and she needs my help. It crosses my mind. Is it that much trouble to spend less than 2 hours of my life to drive 30 minutes away and rescue a friend? It crosses....

I've known her for about 12 years. Wow, 12 years. We had a thing... it's vague... it's undefined... and it's in the past. We drink all the time.... we play pool... we joke around. We just have fun! It's never serious, although that's a relative term and I'm pretty serious even when out. She's a free spirit, fun, and silly! A bit giggly at times. Doesn't like rules, like me. Sometimes we chill frequently, then our lives get too busy and we don't talk or see each other for weeks... months even. Nonetheless, when we can, we usually have a good time.

She has issues though. Yes I'm being judgemental. She gets out of control... like this. She gets unreasonable, but who doesn't at times. She gets irresponsible. All the while, she spouts off how she is so mature and that people around her have to grow up. She gets drunk. She can't take care of herself or doesn't do anything to improve. Now that I think of it, it seems like she's not conscious of her own life. Not just in this instince but from any past stories or incidents.

So I find her, walking along a street, a quick greet and hug, and we're off to home, West Orange. Despite the comfort of knowing that she's in my hands, that she will get home, and that she appreciates me picking her up, I'm indifferent to it all. She reaks of liquor and almost instantaneously goes into casual conversasion. I suppose I couldn't expect anything else. She is drunk and apologizes multiple times. I don't care that she's sorry. I tell her not to be sorry but to not get yourself in these situations. I keep everything short. Any start to a topic that may actually peak my interest, is drowned out by thoughts of why she's in this scenario and why I'm there. A constant barrage of questions about the issue at hand are racing through my head. As we approach her home, I begin. Why do you do this? Why do you get out of control? Why do you have to get so drunk? You know you're relying on your friends that you went out with to get you home so why'd you get in an argument? Why'd you storm off? It was done quite calmly. Each question, deflected and unanswered. I'm reminded, she's drunk. Why even bother asking?

Everything is still calm, not emotional. We're in her driveway. Chatting about her actions. She says an interesting point.... something along the lines of, it's better that we didn't hang out. She's just splurting things out... reacting and trying to pinpoint what I'm thinking. She's right. After some words, she simply says she doesn't care about herself. Well I don't care anymore.

I say, "Bye."

She says, "Don't say that. It's so permanent."

"I know. I can't take care of you anymore."

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