May 05, 2009

Friends and Relationships

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
--
Macbeth, Act V, scene v

Have you ever noticed that bad news has a habit of arriving at inconvenient moments. Not that there is a good time for it to come, but certainly the dead of night or those moments before dawn are particularly bad.

One of these days someone is going to preface the bad news by handing me a cup of coffee and an iPod with Yo Yo Ma playing. At least one can hope for these things.

Part of the joy of growing older are the many life experiences you get to be a part of them. Some of them are truly amazing, like the birth of a child and some of them are harder, such as the deaths of loved ones. And in between these are the tears that are shed over the ending of relationships.

And so I find myself on this Cinco de Mayo thinking about some of the recent conversations in which dear friends have discussed what it means to say goodbye to their marriages. I am not a therapist. I don't dispense professional advice.

I listen and if you ask I'll offer my opinion. That is a bit different from my youth. In these situations I am quite reticent to share my real thoughts because the situations are so explosive. I don't want to place myself between the hammer and the anvil, it is a losing hand.

That is not to say that I won't tell you what I think, but I am careful. If the relationship ends or continues I don't want them to blame me one day for their having made a bad decision.

Most people know that I am a creature of the night, albeit without fangs. If you need me you can ring the BlackBerry and I'll be there. And so it was that I received the calls that told me that a few more marriages had run their course.

Later on we'd meet for coffee and I'd sit and listen to their stories. I suppose that it is not surprising that there were similarities in their stories. At some point in time they stopped talking. They didn't share their thoughts with their spouses. As the distance grew the wives stopped sleeping with them and the husbands grumbled about it.

They wanted to use sex to try and restore the intimacy and the wives were irritated that they would be so insensitive. In turn the boys grew upset and the resentment on both sides built and then one day they realized that the flames had been extinguished. And just like that they transitioned into roommates who shared the mission of raising the children.

As I listened to them speak the traffic on the boulevard kept on coming. No matter what is going on in our personal lives life never stops. Or maybe it was proof that a sunny day in LA meant that Ventura Boulevard was going to be filled with convertibles.

Who knows, I am no philosopher. Think that I'll end this post here.

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