Over the years, I have discarded a lot of people who used to be important to me. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. I’ve made many attempts to reconnect and make amends. Sometimes successfully, usually not.
The reason I am bringing this up now is because I can feel the weight of a whole bunch of you ghosts, pulling at me. I know there are about six or seven people from my past who read the things I write here. You are not the only sneaky internet detective in the world. I know things.
I have intentionally never installed anything here that would give me IP addresses for readers, because I don’t really want to know. Gawk all you want, in peace, with my blessings. God knows I do, so I have no room to criticize. Curiosity gets the better of me.
One of you ghosts left a comment on my last entry. I have my guesses as to who that was, but it doesn’t matter. It feels like it was all of you at once. I can imagine at least ten people from my past who would or have felt exactly the same sentiment expressed in that comment. If you feel that way, then that’s one of the primary reasons why we’re not in contact. That sentiment is old news in my world. I am not like that anymore.
So what do you do, with the past insistently tugging at you like that? I have my own answers. The usual one is: you are looking in the wrong place. Chances are excellent that you are thrusting yourself into the trivial details of past relationships as an excuse to keep from addressing whatever it is that’s really bothering you. For those people, fine, keep gawking if you want. You were going to waste your own time anyway. Might as well do it while reading my thought-provoking, scintillating livejournal entries.
But you’re not like that, right? Of course not. Whatever soothing platitudes I might write certainly don’t apply to the likes of you. You’re a special snowflake.
There are a couple of you who I can imagine might be truly and honestly suffering lasting damage due to some failed situation that involves me. If you believe that you fall into that group, then ... god help you. Really. Not kidding or being snarky anymore. Well, at least as much as that’s possible, given the situation.
When trying to summon the empathy necessary to understand how you might be feeling, I can’t help but regress. The person you knew is gone. I can glimpse him only in irregular and infrequent bursts. I know you only through observations made by him. He added his own special coloration to those events that is difficult for me to see through.
There are a lot of things I can say not to do. Generally speaking, when I talk to people I knew decades ago, I’ve discovered that they can’t let go of the way things used to be.
There was this girl I knew when I was young. We had various fumbling romantic entanglements. I have made more attempts to reconnect with her over the years and decades than everybody else combined. A fact I’m not at all proud of. On the most recent attempt, along about 2001 or so, she automatically assumed the exact same role she’d had in my life in the eighties. “Look at me, I am the enigmatic and desirable sylph, just slightly out of your reach. Wouldn’t it be great if you could acquire me? You can’t, of course. Tee hee!” I don’t know if she’s still really like that or if she just fell into the role out of habit. Either way, doesn’t matter, forget it, I’m not trying again. Just thinking about that situation makes me vaguely ill.
So if you insist, fine, give it your best shot. If you know my real name, you’ll discover that I am easily googlable. But if you can’t find an approach that is about 180 degrees off from whatever you tried before, you are almost certainly wasting your time.