Not a friend
I had a friend, I thought, who seemed to like me. We had known each other a long time. When she moved to the jungle, she would suggest doing things like meeting for a meal, or going to an event with her family, or going to church, etcetera. She always made sure to invite my darling wife.
She lived far away, though, so any meeting took logistical planning and coordination. And most of her invitations involved her church or her family or both. We politely declined most of them. My friendships are like the spokes of a wheel, radiating outward from me. My friends do not know each other, and I am not particularly interested in meeting their friends or family. I am friends with the friend only; after many bad experiences, I avoid networks or cohorts of friends who know each other. My nomadic lifestyle helps reinforce my individual friendships and my avoidance of cohorts.
We met several times for a meal. It seemed to work out well. But then my friend stopped responding to calls or emails. We only communicated once every few months as it was, so it’s not like it was a sudden dearth of communication. The fact that she likes to communicate by text, and most of her texts to me never actually arrive due to some strange technical problem with her network, made it difficult to communicate with her anyway. But when all communication stopped, I noticed her absence.
Perhaps she is dead. More likely, though, she simply stopped trying to integrate me into her church or her family, since I did not want to be a part of either. And so she no longer had a use for me. I can understand that.
Friends come and go. And sometimes a person you thought was a friend, is not. I am getting better at identifying people who want to talk to me because they want something, versus people who want to talk to me because they like me. The safe assumption is that they do not like me, and instead they want something. That’s usually the case. Now I know that was the case with my missing “friend.” She wanted me to go to her church. When I refused, that ended my usefulness to her.
Onward and upward.