I’ve been struggling with how to respond to your last couple of drinks invitations.
My honest answer is, no, I don’t want to have a drink with you. This pains me. It sucks. I don’t like feeling it. I don’t want to say it.
As I’ve said ad nauseam the last few years, I love you like a brother, and I have zero desire (or capacity) to excise you from my life. I think about you often. I miss you. I long for you. I genuinely do love you.
I don’t want to have a drink with you.
I don’t want to hear your self-involved, self-satisfied reports of your professional, or social, or romantic, or sexual, conquests, struggles, or quandaries.
I like our wordplay, our political conversations, and to a certain extent, our sharing of our perspectives of our friends in common, and our families (which come so close to being our family).
After your last substantive email, in which you disclaimed any possibility of a world in which you might actually be a safe friend for me, one in whom I might confide, that’s pretty much what you have to offer me: relatively shallow perspective-sharing, me listening to you tell me about your life, two-dimensional wordplay and current events commentary, or… me putting myself at risk by sharing more than that.
Sorry. (I genuinely am sorry. This represents a huge loss, a huge concession to me.) But I’m not interested.
Let me know if there comes a time when you’re prepared to imagine engaging in the work of friendship for real, minus the warning label reading “DANGER: I WILL BITE YOU BECAUSE I AM A SCORPION AND IT’S IN MY NATURE.”
Until then, though, no thanks.