When Past Meets Present

Facebook is in interesting tool, probably best left unused in some cases. People from your past are all over the place, begging for attention, and in some cases you can’t help but give it, in hopes that things are working out well for them. You go to their wall, read their last few status updates and big as life, there it is between the lines. Their tone and content is pleasant, even humorous at times. But you can tell, you can just tell, that it’s all one big farce.

The latest person I’ve read about will remain nameless, but some might be able to guess who it is. Please, if you can, don’t name him/her/it. We will call him/her/it The Topic. Now, The Topic was once a dear friend. We did lots of things together. Spent endless hours talking on the phone, hanging out at school, after school, at work, at home, on vacation together. Pretty much, we were inseparable for a few good years. Then, lives changed, circumstances changed, and we drifted apart. I made decisions, The Topic made decisions, and we have arrived at March 6 2011, both alive, thought having not spoken in ages. There was no scene, no horrid falling out. We simply grew apart due to our responsibilities and goals. We reconnected for a time, but during that brief time span it became clear to me that The Topic had changed. I didn’t want to judge. I still don’t. It’s just evident, (then, just as much as now) that perhaps The Topic had made a few regrettable choices. I too, had made such choices, and resumed the friendship after airing a few grievances and talking them over. No harm, no foul.

In the course of that period The Topic did some things I would never dream of doing. It caused irreparable damage to another friendship, and put me in the middle of a rather uncomfortable situation. Still, I tried to remain friends with The Topic. The Topic went about life, making choices, achieving goals. I supported The Topic as a friend, lending a shoulder to cry on when upset and never doling out recriminations for choices made. Then, after a serious crisis in The Topic’s life, ties were severed. I had nothing to do with said crisis. Yet in the fallout, I became a casualty. The Topic disappeared.

Years later, another friend and I found The Topic on Facebook through sheer happenstance. The Topic had changed last names to no last name we ever knew The Topic to go by, but the photo was unmistakable. Also by sheer happenstance, The Topic happened to be online at that exact moment and we spent a good hour or two chatting over the social medium. We friended each other and every now and then I see a post that sparks my interest, pinches my memory about something in our past, and I take a look at The Topic’s wall.

Absolutely depressing.

And not because I see The Topic doing things I would like to do (because The Topic doesn’t). It’s because I see The Topic doing things that I know are in direct contrast to who The Topic is. Or at least was. Perhaps that is who The Topic is now. If so, it makes me wonder what happened in between that time of crisis and now, to completely destroy that wonderful personality and turn it into such a phony facade. I know The Topic. I know The Topic is in a desperate place. I can see it dripping from every status update. And it’s depressing to think The Topic could get out of it, just by admitting a few things were wrong. By manning up, and saying “I was wrong. I need to take a step back and reevaluate the things I value in life. I need to give a few apologies and make a few amends. I need to make a few adjustments.” Why is that so hard for some people?

I’d like to help The Topic. But I don’t know how. Even if I did, I don’t think The Topic would accept it. I think the bitterness and despair is too deep. I can only hope someone else, Someone above or someone The Topic calls a friend now, sees it too, and helps where I can’t.

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2 Responses to “When Past Meets Present”

  1. Ah, the pitfalls of FB. However, in most cases, i’m reminded why we don’t hang out anymore. There are some friends that I wonder why though. Good luck with The Topic. Ps,if you’re Fb friends then won’t she see this?

  2. Arthur Nelson Says:

    There is not much we can do for friends who make poor choices and follow a path in a direction that was wrong from the beginning. All we can do for them is be there at the fork “if” and “when” they return. Because if they can make back that far they will need help standing.

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