I was never a person to have lots of friends. To have lots of friends, you have to cultivate them. To cultivate them, you have to see some purpose in their cultivation. I have seen that most people who have lots of friends tend to do little else except cultivate friends. They throw parties. They join organizations. They're available.
I like to have one friend for any activity. So I like to have a golf friend and we get together and play golf. The golf friend also tends to be a party friend, since golf and partying go together like marriage and sinecure. Hey that's pretty good. I did my best to piss off everybody at the end of golf season last year. I was so angry at the world for what it had done. Damn enabling world. How do you live with yourself?
So when I have a girlfriend, I make her the center of my world, since the activity I have girlfriends for is at the center of everything, the prime motivator, and I was trying to distance myself from everyone so I could make myself suitable to a girlfriend. I found a girl, woman, willing to undertake me as a project.
Our early conversations were quite enjoyable since we can both talk, and she'd been a counselor and I'd been a painter-therapist. On our second phone date, she told me that she'd been about to invite me to come live with her in California after our first conversation. I told her how glad I was that she didn't ask me, because I would have had to decline. I'd already obligated myself in my present living situation.
My telling her that I would have refused kinda of weirded her out, since she'd gotten the sense that I was kinda desperate for it, having a girlfriend with all of the strings and things attached, but as we talked more I realized that she had taken other guys in and had cleaned them up and then released them, her own version of a capture, neuter, and release program was what I heard. I could tell that she had no idea what she was dealing with in me. I tell these stories because they're what the world does to people like me, not because I have an issue with the world. I'm fine with the world, I just don't like the enabling. The enabling is going to make this a living hell for a while, and then it will just become something else. I'll adapt.
Anyway, when she realized that I wasn't as desperate as I seemed, and she'd helped me deal with my main issue, anger, through the hours and hours of talks and experimentation, she didn't want me anymore and stopped answering my calls. It might have bothered somebody less actualized than I am. I had too much to do.
I wasn't going to play golf until I'd figure out some things, and the first was a new exercise for my back, I found a ball, didn't know what to do with it, so I sat on it and viola. My mind is much clearer now and I realized that last year my putting efficiency declined by half, and I don't think it was the partying, because I've always partied like a high-schooler on spring break when I play golf, so I didn't take clubs to the club, just my putter and almost as soon as I made a few adjustments, my putting was better.
One old friend showed up immediately and we just took up where we'd left off, but he now has his own place, and a new job, and is looking older because of it. Now he knows my other old golf friend, the guy I started playing golf with, and he showed up after my first friend told me I was expected to apologize for my terrible behavior at the end of last year. Upon seeing my old friend, I went to apologize, and he wouldn't hear of it. He told me I had nothing to apologize for, which was a total lie. I really did have things to apologize for. An entire slew of things, but we hugged, like dudes, nothing queer, and played golf.
It's like this, in life sometimes you meet people who you know you have to get away from if you are to have any chance at happiness, and then when you get away from them you realize that you were misguided. They were just an excuse for your own failures. And when they come back into your life, if you've really changed, you don't see them the same way, and they don't see you the same way, and you do the same things you always did together, but differently. As I said to my young golf buddy last time I was leaving the club, "This is going to be a most beautiful year of golf between the three of us." And it snowed the next day so we won't be seeing each other for at least a week. Best to take this slow, in small doses. Old habits die just as hard as old friends.