Here is the post I started writing nearly four weeks ago, and then, wasn’t really sure what to write. Or even why I was writing it. Or whether to.
Time helps with most things, even writing blog posts, and mulling them over for weeks. To the extent that I know now that I am writing it because I like neat and tidy endings, and writing it provides that for me. Also because, it meant something to me for those years, it merits a post. And at least this post will be much shorter than the ones I was writing in my head three or four weeks ago.
We started emailing on a pretty regular basis a few years ago. We’d mailed occasionally beforehand, and fallen out occasionally too.
We were worlds apart – literally and metaphorically. Our lives were totally different, and we probably held opposite opinions on virtually everything under the sun, but I liked him. He was funny and he was interesting. He also had (has) a lovely dog which I suppose should be a minor point, but never is with me.
There were lots of laughs and lots of grief. Who on earth could fall out about Sploofus, Scrabulous and Farmville? Er, we did. We fell out about sharing photographs too. Perhaps, on reflection, over the years, there wasn’t much we didn’t fall out about.
It was, to say the least, an up and down relationship. Either we were up and laughing and having a good time, or we were down and arguing and one of us was walking away. Initially it was me, later it was him.
Meeting people on the internet is like meeting people in real life. Except it isn’t. There are similarities. You meet, you exchange conversations in common places, and then you drift elsewhere. But you don’t really know these people, do you? It’s not like socialising with neighbours or work colleagues. You can’t share enough information in enough time.
There is something strange about receiving a mail that says, ‘don’t contact me again, ever.’
There was a please in front of it, but an order is an order, which is what that was, and adding ‘please’ makes no difference at all. An attempt at fake politeness. No more, no less.
Initially, I was annoyed that someone else thought they could dictate terms and conditions of what I mistakenly thought was an equal relationship (in my dreams huh?). But should I respect that? I pondered long and hard. What about the times I had said I wanted to stop communications and my request had been ignored? Hey, when a woman says ‘no’, she never really means it does she?
I don’t like being told what to do, but what really stopped me from trying to explain that maybe we had, not for the first time, misunderstood each other, was someone telling me they wanted to have nothing to do with me again. Ever. That’s pretty powerful, and it worked.
So I never did write back, didn’t seem much point.
And in a way, there was a strange sense of relief. No more fall outs to worry about, no more thinking I’d say the wrong thing, no more looking for messages that weren’t there. Every other time we’d fallen out, I’d been sad or upset, but this final one was different.
Yes, I still look at my mails to check them out of habit, but knowing there won’t be one. Why would there be? And maybe I breathe a sigh of relief that there isn’t. I don’t have to decide whether or not to reply.
Yet, there are times when I miss him. When everything was stolen from our vehicle in Spain last year, he was the only person who offered practical help. Kind thoughts and good wishes from my Facebook friends (who no doubt will all be alienated at this point) are all well and good, and I did appreciate them. But how many people offer to send cash to someone they have never met and never will, because they trust it will be repaid?
And when I was fed up or wanted to moan, he was, in the early days, always there with a laugh, and a cheerful word. He would dish out the same sort of pragmatic advice that I do to others, but mostly he would try – and succeed – at making me smile.
Things always change though. Maybe that’s why I decided to clean up the finca, start blogging again. Do something that doesn’t involve looking for mails that will never be there. Perhaps some good came out of it after all.
Edited to add:
Ironically my post here was written a couple of days before our final disagreement. A premonition? Or just co-incidence?