It's been awhile, and I am making it up to you with six new pages.
It's been an eventful month, lots has been going on, good and bad.
I'll get the bad out of the way first.
It's been a very emotional month for me, as I've been trying to get over what I believe to be my very first friend-breakup. I've certainly had friends whom I've lost touch with over time and never saw again, but I've never had anyone, especially anyone so close to me and important in my life have the brass balls to flat out TELL me they didn't want to be friends anymore. I never thought that that was the kinda thing that happened between people, or at least not without a specific catalyst. Like if you catch them fucking around with you significant other or... if they maliciously killed your dog or something fucked up like that.
I'm glad to say my story isn't THAT tragic, but it is still sad, none the less.
Instead there was no catalyst, just the simple and abrupt ending to a friendship. Without cause and without explanation. My friend J, a very, very close friend of nearly 13 years "broke up" with me for reasons unknown.
This all came about because of my TransCat comic. Since the comic is based essentially on my life, J is in it. she's a pretty major character right from the beginning. We first met a freshmen in high school. since high school was kind of a dark time in my life, it was really nice to have found a friend like her. As much of a cliche as it sounds, the majority of people I knew back then seemed like they felt as if they were too good for me, and that if I deserve the time of day form them, I'd really have to work for it. This was not true of J, and our group. It was comforting to know that in the sea of hostiles, was a bastion of good where I was allowed to simply be.
After high school however, we split ways. It wasn't too terrible or permanent, though. We saw one another at conventions still, and every once in awhile I'd see her on special occasions, like on birthdays. And we always had the internet to talk. After awhile however, her life took her in a very different direction and she wound up going to a very nice school in Japan. It was sad to see her move so far away, but I was very proud of her. She was always really smart, and a person I looked up to and admired for that reason. Besides, we always had the internet.
Time went by, we graduated from our respective colleges. We talked, but not as often as we used to. Life has a way of getting people busy, but we understood. Or at least, I understood. She was building a whole new life overseas. She had a new job, a husband, a daughter, the whole shebang. Just as before, I couldn't have been any happier for her. I never imagined her as a mother, but she came by to visit once with her newborn daughter and the motherhood role seemed to fit her so naturally. I was happy for the kid, because she had such a cool mom.
Flash forward to present day. I'm working on a TransCat. There was a small detail I wanted to put in the comic that I didn't quite remember the specifics of. I had my doubts, but I thought maybe I'd hit up J, just in case she remembered better than me. I looked up her Facebook page, a page that I didn't visit very often. With a career and a family, J didn't have time for lots of updates, let alone idle small talk, so I didn't really go to her seeking it, mostly just the occasional comment on a new picture of the kid. Usually "aww, so cute".
To my surprise, we were no longer "friends" on Facebook. What the fuck? That... had to be a mistake or an oversight or something. I forgot the question
I was going to ask and instead asked her what was going on. For good measure, I sent her a new friend request. A day later I got the notification that the friend request had been accepted, I sighed in relief, only to check her page again to see we STILL were not "friends".
At this point I'm thinking this is a weird Facebook glitch. I messaged her again, letting her know what was going on.
What I got back was one of the most terse replies I'd ever received from her.
I wish I could find the exact wording she used, but the message is long lost to the annals of Facebook. She essentially admitted that she removed me from her friends list on purpose, re-accepting me back was a mistake, and that she simply didn't have the time to keep me as a friend anymore and that having me rattling around on her friends list was just awkward.
I'm used to J being just of a forward and blunt person but this cut me deep. One of my oldest friends now sees me as a waste of time. Just knowing that I'm out there, let alone interacting with me makes her feel awkward.
I thought about pleading to her, appealing to her sense of nostalgia and making her remember the good times, but no matter how I tried to word it, it all just reeked as a a waste of my own time. I felt desperate and useless. So eventually I just erased my entire message to her and told her that I didn't need to be told twice that I wasn't wanted and wished her and her family a good and happy life.
That's the deepest cut I've felt in a long time.
I've had some terrible fallings out with people, I've had lovers betray me, I've had friends straight up die on me.
But having someone whom i was at one time so close with write me out of her life with the click of a button for no discernible reason is a new kind of a hurt. Something I can safely say I've never felt before, and hope to never have to feel again.
I've no idea what triggered this in her, and likely never will. At first I felt a deep sense of betrayal, second guessing our entire history together. If she suddenly thinks I'm a waste of time now, who's to say she hasn't though that ever since we first met? Maybe for her, I was just a friendship of convenience, and keeping up with me online after she moved away was merely a formality, before she just couldn't be bothered anymore.
I was about to write off our entire friendship, throw out all of the things she had given me over the years, postcards, valentines, drawings... all of it.
Then, L, a mutual friend popped up on Facebook. This person didn't live nearly as far away, but was still kind of absent from my life. Seeing her on Facebook was kind of jarring, actually. She's NEVER on Facebook.
I hadn't been very specific about my troubles when i described them online, because the last thing I wanted to do was insight drama in the rest of our mutual friends, but i needed to vent somehow, so I kept my descriptors non-specific. Despite all this, L had already gleaned what had happened, and wanted to talk to me about it.
She had been right there with us at the beginning of our friendship. She lived it with us, hard times and all. She wanted me to know that my fears were unfounded, and that our friendship was way more than just a friendship of convenience. Despite how she was acting now, our relationship WAS real back then, and I shouldn't just write the whole thing off.
I wish L could have explained more about what was happening now, but she was just as much in the dark as I was. Seems like no one who really knows J seems to be able to explain her behavior, and I highly doubt that it's something I'll ever hear form J herself, so... I kinda give up.
While it is comforting to know that our past is as I remember it, it kinda sucks that I may never receive closure on this matter. I feel like I've lost something great, and a place in my heart which once held a close and loved friend is now conspicuously vacant.
This makes TransCat hard to proceed with, since J is such an important character early on. Part of me was considering going back and writing her out, but I decided against it. I'm already taking tons of artistic licenses with this story to begin with; this aspect of it I'm going to try and keep as close to life as I can. As much as I'm sure it will hurt to continue to write about our lives together, I'm determined not to hold onto this as hatred. I want to remember her fondly, I want to remember our time together fondly. That's what I hope to convey in the pages of my story.
Oh yeah, i told you there was good news as well.
Well, It's not much to say, compared to this essay of heartbreak, but it's still kind of a big deal.
I got myself a new job!
This is important not just because it means I can live like an adult human being again, but it ALSO means i'm gonna be able to afford to head to a few more Cons this year!
I've been laying off the Cons for awhile simply because of a lack of funds. I intend to return in force.
Hopefully by the time Con season rolls around again, my first serious volume of Brilliant Black Starres will be out, as well as my first several issues of TransCat :3
Didn't wanna leave you guys on such a downer note.