Wednesday, August 27, 2008
12:05:20 AM EDT
Friends are the greatest labor and the greatest reward.
After all these years I still wear my heart on my sleeve, and I guess I always will. And, in spite of hard knocks and some street wisdom, I've always been too innocent. But I have grown to feel disgusted at the professed friendships that turned out to be clay footed and hollow. It seems that while I was a working actor I was of some value to certain people. But now that I'm retired I'm considered worthless. And so, in my senior years, I've developed a benign suspicion and skepticism when friendship, love and affection are offered to me.
I know a guy who used to email me on almost a daily basis and he ended every letter by saying "I love you, good buddy." Then, one day he disappeared. I wrote to him several times trying to find out what was wrong. I never got an answer. And so it was with a few other of my "close friends."
I'm not bitter about it. My philosophy is never give up on people. If one of them should reappear in my life, even without an apology (which wouldn't be necessary) or an explanation, I could gladly revive the friendship because of the affection I have for them. It is not in my nature not to forgive people who have done me wrong.
Forgiving friends is not so hard. Forgiving enemies is harder but not impossible. There is a couple in this land that maligned me to myself and their family and probably to others, with some nasty name calling and lies. No reason given. All communications between us has broken off. I doubt if we could ever be friends again. But their morbid behavior has not harmed the love I had and still have for that family.
There are four actors who have simply disappeared without a trace of an explanation leaving behind a trail of memorials of how much they said they cared for me.
On the other hand, there are people who I know are true friends. Whether they show up once a week on my computer screen or in my mail box or once a year, I have no doubts about them. Most of them have been around for a long time.
Those are the friendships I work at. To have the freedom and right to labor for such friendships when called upon is one of the great rewards in this life.
DB = The Vagabond