Goodbye, my enemy

I think I’m going to have to unfriend you soon, and it makes me sad. I wanted us to be friends. For 25 years, I’ve longed for a world where you & I could be friends. I don’t know much about you now, but for the sake of the person I so admired long ago, I’ve kept trying.

You should know that you are a major character in my backstory. The memories of my interactions with you all those years ago have continued to influence me, for good and for bad. The academic competition between you and me gave me a taste for intelligent companions and stimulating conversation. I discovered Twin Peaks, Metallica, and Saturday Night Live – in some of its best years ever – because of you, and I am forever thankful. I wanted to be more like you. Even the pain I endured at the hands of you and your friends forced me to dig deep and find a strength that I may not have ever found otherwise – though it took me years.

But now things are changing rapidly, and I don’t know if it’s safe for me to continue to pretend that you and I are friends. Right now, I have a certain amount of privilege keeping me safe, but I am preparing to step out from behind as much of that as I can, and fight for those who remain even more vulnerable than I am. I would like to think that when speaking out for the less fortunate becomes a crime, that you wouldn’t sell me out to the Gestapo – but the guy I knew as a kid would have, and I haven’t seen enough in the man who exists now to make me think that’s changed.

So, as much as it hurts me to give up on something I’ve wanted since I was sixteen, I think I have to finally end this superficial show of a friendship. I wish it could’ve been otherwise; I truly do.

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