posted by dave on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 at 5:55 AM in category ramblings

One of the side-effects of bottling everything up is that I'm able to think about things that, a few weeks ago, would have been, um, unthinkable.

Not unthinkable as in terrible or horrifying, but as in hey, I never thought of it that way before, or why didn't I think of that before?

I spent so much time obsessing over the why and the how and the what of my situation that I never really took the time to look at the who.

Who would of course be you know who, and also my lovely self.

Speaking of myself, I've never really been a what if kind of person when it comes to thinking about the past. I've never spent a lot of time replaying past mistakes, imagining what might have happened if I'd said or did something differently. I usually just try to play the cards I'm dealt.

Here's the thing about mistakes: You never recognize one until you've already made it. You might suspect it, but you're not sure until it's too late.

Now, I'm not saying I like the hands I've been given recently. Far from it actually, but I've been dealing with it by whining about it, not by imagining how much better it could have been if...

But I ramble. I do that a lot lately. I DO know where I'm going with this. Really.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

Because I'm bottling all of the painful stuff up, I've found that I'm able to think about things without all those pesky feelings getting in the way. I'm able to remember things that before had been overshadowed by more dramatic things.

Such as this thing here that I'm finally going to get to after babbling on for an eternity.

A couple of times last Summer, she was sad. I'm sure that there were more times than just those two, but those are the ones I remember because she was crying. The first time was because CoffeeDude decided to preach to her about the realities of life, and another time that was probably just girl stuff.

The first time she got up and left. I tried to follow her and apologize on behalf of men everywhere, but she would have none of that.

The second time I tried to make her feel better. I tried to say soothing words that would ease her pain and maybe even give her some hope for the future.

She yelled at me.

I'd said the wrong words I guess, and I didn't try any more.

A couple of months later, I could tell that something was bothering her. Her smiles had become fleeting. Her eyes had lost some of their sparkle. She'd get bored easily, and she'd leave. There was something wrong.

I did nothing.

I didn't ask her what was wrong, or even if anything was wrong, or if I could help. I let her be sad, and I didn't do a fucking thing about it.

Part of the reason was that I was pretty tied up with my own problems at the time. Fighting my developing feelings was taking a lot out of me. Another part of the reason was that I remembered what had happened the last time I'd tried to help. I'd only made things worse. Finally, as long as I'm striving for completeness here, there was a part of me that was already blaming myself for her sadness. After all, she knew at least a little of what I was going through. It was at least conceivable that she was bothered by it. But we'd never discussed it, and I always figured that she just didn't want to talk about that with me.

I'm not saying that what I did was right, but that's the way it was. I just tried to mind my own business. I guess I figured that we were friends, and if she wanted to talk about whatever it was, I'd be there for her. But I wasn't going to force myself on her.

I figured that she'd probably talk to me about it eventually.

Instead, she moved a million miles away.

Several thousand years ago, when I started writing this entry, I mentioned that I was never prone to going over past mistakes and wondering what if I'd handled things differently.

Well times change, and so do people sometimes.

Minding my own business was a mistake. Not trying to help was a mistake.

I fucking should have tried to help. It might not have done any good. Hell, it might have even made things worse. Maybe trying to help would have turned out to have been a mistake too. Maybe there was nothing that I could have done or said that would have made her feel better. Made her stay.

I should have tried, and I'm sorry that I didn't.

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