I took this photo recently. Its occasion is very rare; I spend most of my time aloft staring at a computer screen (cubicle dwarves will relate.)
At the risk of giving it pop-psychology meaning, I can't help but realize that even in Hell, there's pretty things to look at, sometimes. 25,000 feet below this image, people are wantonly killing one another with the inviolate focus of the mad. If only they'd look up.
It's 9PM here, and I've two hours before the whole thing starts all over again. An endless cycle, like so many others. Yet, at the moment, I feel like I'm feeling what I saw. A bit of sun, a bit of cloud; gone soon enough, but sure to return.
Earlier today, I received a very unexpected email from a friend becoming even more unexpectedly close. I haven't replied yet; I'm taking my time crafting a response. What she wrote touched me:
A little explanation is in order.
My best friend (and he is my best friend) is the male version of S. Oddly, the characteristics he shares with S are precisely why he is able to help me understand her, and what she did. He's not ashamed of them, of who he is; though, he is struggling to overcome those demons.
He has had his share of wretched relationship experiences. Many of the failures of which, I suspect, he'd admit were his fault.
Like the most recent. I'm confident of it.
He'd found me, only much more attractive in a skirt. She would have sacrificed anything for him; she lived to make him happy.
(I am reminded of something I wrote to S from Qatar as I was fighting what I could not see:)
It wasn't enough; it still isn't. He needs more, in that he needs less. He understands that he doesn't return half the attention, the affection she gives him.
Which, of course, reminds me of one of those precious few moments, there at the end, when S spoke and I believed what she said as the naked truth. She told me -- that night I came home and thought I'd won her back -- that she "didn't deserve my love," and that she didn't return half of what I gave her, every day.
I insisted that she was wrong. That she did, in countless ways that she just couldn't see right then. I gave her examples; examples that I'm sure she'd forgotten, or simply didn't realize were so important to me. They were for not, of course.
In reflection though, I remember the moment with absolute clarity. As though it happened just moments ago. And I remember a very dark, very small, very secret place in my heart nodded when she said that. It was quick; fleeting. Somewhere deep inside me, I agreed. That I worked harder at us than she did.
But I pushed it away. Hard. Quicker than the breath came that carried my protest, it was gone.
I knew she was right. I see that, now. Rather, I see it again, now.
Back to that email.
The woman that wrote it is my best friend's ex-. Everyone is okay with her writing me; each among us realizes that it's really all about helping one another get better. Not just right now, but for the long run.
That she writes me is evidence of my point (long in coming). She is me, and (as I've said,) my best friend is S. I am in a place to help her, because I am intimately familiar with every feeling she's had, and is having. Additionally, I am in a place to help my best friend, because I am similarly intimately familiar with the effect of his actions. Having lived them, and all.
So, she wrote me that. I'm her diary. She lurks my blog, and somehow it helps.
Before I close, let me share something else I wrote her some time ago:
I remember <-my best friend-> and I talking about it, once. I joked that he should start dating S, since they're the same way. And then I said, no, don't do that... the fuckin' world would explode, like nuclear fusion uncontrolled. He said the same for you and I, dear. We're "the same way," so we'd be like two pieces of the same side of velcro. For you and I, it'd be: who can do something selfless and caring and loving first, the most, the fastest, with the most bang(!). Chaos.
It's very comforting to know that I can help, even when I'm hurting, myself. There's a lot of pain out there, but today's the first day of the rest of my life. And hers. And his. And yours.
I'm signing off now; it's time for the day's mission brief. I'll fly for nine hours and do my thing and still believe. And I won't give two shits about Las Vegas.
Because I'm not alone out here. Or out there.
It'll happen. You'll see.