Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Letter To A Friend

Dear Lawrence,

The guilt of letting silence speak for our friendship is visiting me again. It’s weird how people can get close then drift off, carrying each other’s secrets. I know if I had a self-portrait you would be a strong colour, a hard brush on my roughest patch. I know I owe you for seeing me through heartaches, breakdowns and self-doubts. It is a weird guilt because I don’t feel like I owe you an apology, I just feel like I owe you SOMETHING for the time and patience you’ve given me over 10 years of friendship.

I must have come off arrogant when I was developing my opinions on things and when I started to tune out of a lot of things that helped us bond. Rap music for example, we used to bump a lot of gangster rap but I moved away from most of it. I developed an ear for abstract, tongue twisting, poetic funk-lovin' emo rappers.

I let you borrow the albums I found inspiring and you returned them saying you didn’t like them. I gave you a CD of my raps and hoped to impress you. You never responded but your sister told me you thought my voice didn’t sound good. This I remember was the first dent in our friendship.

I quit my job as a full time personal trainer and started a career as a performance poet. I went on the dole and even borrowed money off you at times to keep myself afloat. As time went on, I wasn’t making any money off my poetry and you’d make remarks about how you pay taxes so people like me can run around calling themselves artists.

Of course, you work long hours as a train driver on the northern line. You are a dad to a little boy and you embrace that responsibility. Beautiful, I admire that, and I must have come off rather arrogent when criticising your parenting.

I was in the backseat of your girlfriend’s car with your son. He turned to me, jabbed me in the arm with his tiny three-year-old fist and said, “Fuck you Ray” and you and your girlfriend laughed your heads off. I got offended and said, “I don’t think a three year old should do that” and you, of course got defensive as you would, I’m not a dad so who am I to comment on you as parents? … I got it… but I know this was the final kick from the wall.

I was remembering how we referred to each other as brothers and how sincere that was. I remember feeling guilty for our fading connection, as it was me that was changing, you were pretty much the same.

I went travelling for 7 months, I experimented with drugs; I became a performer and got into different genres of music and literature. This made me into a new character… one that needed more feeding from people with minds heading in my direction. I had a new type of hunger for knowledge and experience but felt like your complacency with what you know frustrated me. This again, must have made me come off really arrogant. I’m sorry.

Not everyone needs to have wild dreams and curiosities, in fact at times I wish for a simpler existence. One that doesn’t define it’s worth by what it creates and how many people its approved by.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with people having no major ambition. There’s nothing wrong with people working 9-5 and enjoying their weekend. Maybe it’s me, I’m the one poisoned with disillusionment.

Maybe I over think things, maybe I’m too sentimental and I expect too much from humanity. Maybe, I’ve been looking in broken mirrors and expecting myself to look better than everything else reflected in them. Maybe I’m floating around like a restless spirit when life is about sitting down and being still with the little peace you can find.

I’m constantly in need of fuel for creativity and when it isn’t there I feel worthless. Is that crazy?

Maybe I need to go somewhere and just let a sunset be a sunset and a friendship be a friendship.

I hope you don't think of me as arrogant or ungrateful for years of loyalty as a best friend.

Much love to you and the family.

Ray. x

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