Tuesday, June 22, 2004
It's Like He Knew
I Would Change My Mind ...
I haven't spoken to a friend of mine (call him Brotha T) in more than two years. Not really talked. Not more than "Hey, what's up," even though i see him all the time. Yesterday, i decided to send him an e-mail. I don't know why; it just came to me in a quiet epiphany how silly and petty of me it was to maintain my anger at him for so long over something he did to piss me off. (Oh yeah, that's why i hadn't been speaking to him.) Besides, it was so very unlike me.
Just like that, i let it go.
I sent the e-mail very casually, very chatty, very "it's not like i haven't said anything of any significance to you in the past couple of years." I let it go and felt happy about the prospect that the friendship could resume, probably without him even realizing that i was ever mad at him. I was actually looking forward to the next time i saw him, and told him so.
At some point during the day, i got an e-mail from another friend (Brotha H), forwarding a short story about a young man's seroconversion* experience. As the author of the story was not credited, i made no connection between it and Brotha T at the time. (Unless you're not really paying attention, you probably just made the connection yourself.) It wasn't until a quick online conversation later with Brotha H about the story that it hit me. Hard.
Brotha H never said anything to confirm my suspicions. In fact, i didn't even ask him about the identity of the author. I didn't need to; i recognized Brotha T's voice in the crude language on the screen. I could almost hear him speaking the words.
I don't know why it still bothers me when my friends seroconvert. I don't know why i sit and cry over other people's informed choices. I don't know why i'm lamenting the actions of someone i easily could have diagnosed as "passively suicidal" ever since i've known him. I don't know why i wanted to kick my friend's ass last night after i realized it was him. But i did; i do. (I would if he wasn't bigger'n me.)
I'm not as psycho-spiritual as most folks apparently think i am. I don't believe in coincidence or universal "rightness" or divine order. I have to wonder, though, about the timing. The very day i let go of my anger at Brotha T over one thing, for no apparent reason, is the day i was hit with a new reason to be angry at him all over again. It seems as though my subconscious was clearing the way for me to realize how much i care about him. After all, if i didn't care about him, i probably wouldn't have been so mad in the first place.
I woke up crying in the middle of the night. It's not logical, i know, in 2004 to mourn for people who engage in risks with known consequences. It's not logical to act as though i just heard my friend is dead, when that's so far from today's reality. It's not logical to be angry or embittered or distressed because of my friend's choices. His choices.
Maybe i'm not "the bitch who doesn't have a soul" after all. I'm feeling this one.
*seroconversion = "development of antibodies in blood serum as a result of infection or immunization." (Specifically here -- and in my work -- used to indicate the process of becoming HIV-positive.)