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I am bowled over. I can’t believe it. It just never ends.

The group I play volleyball with plays on both Wednesdays and Sundays. I have been to Wednesday volleyball twice. I never go on Wednesday because of work and all.

Since I was not able to play volleyball last Sunday and won’t be able to play again this Sunday, I decided to leave work a tad early today (a whole 15 minutes!) and go to play on Wednesday for the first time in years.

It was wonderful. The weather was perfect, if a little windy. Of course, I played like crap, re-injured my thumb, and won only one game. Or maybe it was two. But volleyball is so much fun, and I enjoy it so much, I can put up with my own inadequacy.

We played until after 8:00, with barely enough light by which to don our flip-flops. Then we headed over to Marix, a Mexican place right near the beach.

Van was playing tonight, and he was already at Marix when I arrived there. He was sitting two seats away from me, so in the interest of trying to be cordial, I asked him how our mutual friends Cameron and Doug were doing, since I never hear from them. To be honest, I have felt that Van is now a better friend to them than I am, and while I try to call and e-mail them from time to time to find out how they are doing, I have talked to them exactly once since last September. The souvenirs I got for them and their dog on my October Hawaii trip sit in my bedroom to this day. I dust them regularly.

Van was pleasant and seemed concerned that they hadn’t made much of an effort to call me. He even said good night to me at the restaurant with what sounded like genuineness. I thought this boded well for us not having to ignore each other at volleyball… at least some day in the near future.

Just now, as I sat down at the Mac to wonder when the money I transfered from ING would arrive in my Wells Fargo account, I saw an e-mail from Van. I thought it might be some note about Cameron and Doug or something conversational.

Instead, I got a request to, in effect, not show up on Wednesdays ever again. Actually, I was given a choice. Since volleyball for Van is a kind of therapy—and so it is, I might add, for every guy who plays—he asked me to choose, “out of any semblance of respect for me and what we had gone through,” Wednesday or Sunday, and he would show up on the alternate day.

“And I know it might be juvenile,” he said, “but your showing up has honesty interfered with my enjoyment of it primarily because when I said my goodbyes to you two Februarys ago, I had meant it as a goodbye, and I thought that you would respect that decision.”

I have done nothing but respect that decision. It has hurt me since. Looking at him at the table at Marix tonight, I realized, yet again, how good a friend he had been and how much it left a hole in my life when he left.

I even respected that decision way back when he was posting scathing entries about me on his anonymous-but-soon-to-not-be blog. He skewered three of my friends, one he never had gotten along with, and two that had never done him any harm. (You can read about this, in veiled tones, at the beginning of The Wren Forum.)

In December, I wrote him an e-mail explaining that I had, for one day only, read his blog, then left it alone, knowing it was not meant for me to read. I chided him for lambasting my friends, but also that I was sorry for certain things I’d done. I told him I did not expect an apology, since none was required. “I’m just writing to tell you that I did read what you had to say, and I understand, and I am sorry.” He wrote what sounded, again, like a genuine response to that e-mail. I felt perhaps the animosity and hate was gone. Indeed, he said he simply felt indifferent now. Indifference is better than hate.

So now I am sitting here, and I do not know what to say to him. I will wait until I am less hurt and less angry. Before, as this drama was unfolding at the founding of The Wren Forum, I did not post much in the way of details. By posting this, in fact, I’m breaking my own rule to be grown-up and not let my emotions lead me to post things about Van that might be considered childish or vengeful. He at least never said my name in his blog, referring to me only as S, and, sometimes, just mentioning things that some stupid ex of his did. (Perhaps he did this to maintain anonymity rather than out of consideration.) By posting actual quotes from our private correspondence and calling him by his name, I am perhaps revealing enough to infuriate him were he to read this.

He will not read this, I know. He has cut me out of his life.

So what do I tell him? Do I bow low and say, okay, you can take Wednesdays and I’ll take Sundays? Or do I tell him that, yes, his request is juvenile, and while I will remain a regular player on Sundays, there may be days that I, too, need my volleyball therapy, and if Wednesday fits, I’ll go? This is all so Fight Club, it makes me sick.

I do not know why I need to help him retain his distance from me. That’s his issue now. I’ve made my apologies and been respectful of his wishes regarding my presence in his life. Maybe the response I need to craft is one that tells him this. I already have the power to ruin his enjoyment of volleyball; surely it’s impossible for one stern but honestly-worded e-mail to do any more damage. Maybe I get to be the one who’s right for a change.

3 Comments

The Wren Forum » Van Solutions Expounded Thusly:

[…] Possible solutions to the dilemma: […]

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005 • 6:38pm • Permalink • This is a Pingback

The Wren Forum » And Now, the Actual E-Mails… Expounded Thusly:

[…] How is it I dated this guy and never saw his dark, cruel side? Well, time for my dark, cruel side. I’m gonna post the e-mails. Hang on! […]

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005 • 6:40pm • Permalink • This is a Pingback

The Wren Forum » Stab in the Heart Expounded Thusly:

[…] Updated Nov. 8, 2005 6:43pm Thursday, June 9th, 2005 • 7:32am Write a Comment • TrackBack • NoComments […]

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005 • 6:43pm • Permalink • This is a Pingback

 

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