Thursday, November 8, 2012


I apologise in advance for this post, which takes the form of a letter to someone who will never get to read it. I feel the need to post it, to say it to *someone*, because he will never get to read it. Feel free to pass on today's post, it is narcissistic blogging and I apologise. 

Dear C.,

This is a letter I have been carrying around inside of me for years now. We haven’t spoken in more than eight years and we haven’t really been friends for closer to nine, but I still miss you dreadfully. Not every day, but several times a week at least. Most of the missing is because it’s you, but it’s also because ours is the only friendship I have ever lost through my fault. It was all my fault, I have no trouble admitting that, and ours wasn’t a friendship that probably would have drifted with age. It was real and I fucked it up.

It’s weird to use that sort of language given that we only met and became friends because you and G. went to school together and neither of you had anyone else, not really. Of course I didn’t meet you until three months after G. and I started dating because you were having some really stupid fight that even then I knew wasn’t your fault, and I could never understand why someone as wonderful as you was so terribly lonely. With G. I always felt like he revelled a bit in being ‘alone’, even as he protested he wanted to build a community around him. I think he wanted both, but you and I, we wanted love. And we were both OK calling it that baldly, without specifying what sort, it was about love. And we were lonely down to our bones, you and I. We wanted better and we deserved better. I knew that as much as I loved G. (and how I did!) he really wasn’t all that great a person and I knew that you were, I knew that. I knew that unfortunately I was in love with the lesser guy and that you and I were a cross between siblings and best friends. While G. and I fought our way through months of being together while not being together, you were always there to talk with and share with. And when you smiled at me it was always genuine and I never had to doubt how it was between us. It was safe, and safe was not something I understood or experienced much up until that point in my life. We loved each other, for real.

I fucked it up. I told the dumbest lie ever told to G. and it ended up fucking things up with you. It was a lie I told before you even came into my life! You initially told me it was OK and you still loved me, but then Kat died and our worlds shifted. Then G. and I broke up again for the final, spectacular time and it was too much and you went with him. We still talked a bit, especially after he spent the night with the girl on whom you had a long established crush, and I came to your concert the following August. I think you only thought I came to piss off G. who ended up bailing that night anyway, but I didn’t, I came for you. OK, I dressed up for him, I bought an outfit and had my hair done for him, but I came for you, because you are an amazing musician and I loved you so much. I told a lie that became other lies to cover it up and that ended up breaking the trust I so valued. Our friendship was the biggest casualty of the most stupid lie ever told.

I can’t remember the last time we spoke. I can’t remember exactly when it was. Which means it must have happened after I started to get sick, so certainly after December 2004. I can’t remember the last time we spoke, when it was real and we were friends.

I should be over this by now. Ultimately if I’ve only lost one friend through my own fault that’s not a bad scorecard. But you and I were never happy with anything less than perfection, not really. OK, OK, I was sometimes. But you weren’t, not really, not deep down. You might have written a first year music essay in three hours while pissed and with your parents yelling at you but you weren't really OK with it, you expected better of yourself and, ultimately, of the people you loved. I failed you, I failed us. 

You are the smartest person I have ever known. Love isn’t about just desserts but if it was you’d be right up there as someone who should be surrounded by good people who love you and will be there for you. I know nothing about your life now. I heard that you did some postgrad study at Oxford and I know you won the University Medal in _______ but apart from that I don’t know anything about your life right now and have no way of contacting you. I am pretty sure you wouldn’t want to hear from me anyway. Even in the tiny fishpond that is music in Sydney we still manage to miss each other and that’s OK because seeing you would just bring home to me how we’re not in each other’s lives anymore. But every now and then I fantasise about what it would be like to lie on the lawns and have a picnic that I packed just like we used to, and I could hear about all the things you’ve done and seen in the last quarter of your life that I have missed. I could tell you about getting sick, that probably wouldn’t surprise you, and then I could tell you about starting to get better. I could tell you about [the mentor] and everything he’s done for me and how I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. That I did manage to build something with my sister, the way I always wanted. That I am less lonely than I used to be, less alone, even though it doesn’t feel it sometimes. That I’m still singing. That I am trying to have hope.

Most mornings I pass right by your old home on the train, often very early, and I never fail to think of you. Most days someone will say something and you are one of the people I want most to tell. Whenever I drink too much and have the urge to sing, I think of you, because it was what you used to do too. I am writing this letter, finally, because I just haven’t been able to sleep the last few nights (what’s new? Insomnia was our shared curse….) and I had to get this out. Losing you was every bit as awful as losing G., except that I eventually got over G. Not you. You are haunting me.

My life is filled with regrets and I’m not good at moving on. This was something I knew about myself at 19 and something we talked about. It’s still true, actually even more so now. Losing our friendship is still one of the major regrets of my life and I have a feeling it always will be. I am more sorry than you will ever know.

I love you so much and I always will. You are part of my family, you are part of myself and I wish so much that we still had each other. I wish for you much happiness and for a better friend and sister than I was.


P. S.  - You are not a misanthrope. Stop saying that in your online profiles.  


  1. Who knows? Maybe you bump into him someday.

  2. I have one of these guys. Different, but similar, but different. I'm sorry you still feel the loss, but it's oddly comforting to know that I'm not the only person in the world who hangs onto this kind of stuff forever.

  3. Bravo. I have several versions of these in my head.

    1. Thanks Louise! I actually pulled this post down and then put it up again after several people contacted me via e-mail saying thanks. Seems to have connected with people, this one.


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