When I was a child living ‘the book’, my man allegorised my future life to me. In it I had a male companion I then took would be Nick who I sent away to avoid his seeing me die. Much later, in writing another book, I imagined having reached the summit and was looking back over the climb before turning to walk down a gently descending plateau. I was joined by a young man (I would take to be Greg) I would send away.
In a hiatus today I thought to poke Greg on Facebook. I hadn’t heard from him since he said he would see me in a day or two when I’d put a bottle of champagne in the fridge to celebrate his having successfully sat as he thought his accountancy exams on taxes. There was also talk of having me round for a meal. I thought nothing of his nonappearance which was getting longer and longer.
I was unfriended on Facebook by my grandnephew who alerted me by calling himself a shit so that when I went to assure him he wasn’t and couldn’t find him I knew why. It was like a kick in the head. I pinpointed the two others who also had unfriended me about the same time and deleted them from Writers Group membership.
Greg usually pokes me and I poke back though I may have forgotten to last time.
He didn’t send me a usually obscene card as if from somebody else for my birthday and didn’t turn up but I didn’t want anybody turning up. I thought he’d forgotten. My cousin hadn’t sent a card either, probably because I’d forgotten to send her one.
Greg wasn’t poking me. I managed to click down the list of friends in order to click on him to be able to poke and he wasn’t there. I had noticed he wasn’t on my page as he used to be. He’d unfriended me. That he had would never have occurred to me. He’s – I should say was – my best friend, though perhaps not as good at knowing what’s for my good as I for his. I hadn’t said or done anything. Maybe that was it, that I hadn’t done or said anything lately. He does go huffy rather than say. He is also manipulative.
I told Steve in Waitrose. “From what I hear,” he said, “you’re a pain in the arse.” “Yes, when there’s an arse available.” Standing by perhaps availably was Sam. I caught up with Steve later, “She,” Cidalia, “was more sympathetic than you.” “Were you telling her?” “I tell everything to everybody,” obviously, because here I am telling it to you. It’s to express it, get it out, get rid of it, the kick in the head. It isn’t for anything you can say or do. I don’t expect you to do as much as read it.
I wrote a note in case he was out and took with me the corks I’ve been saving for him to make some sort of screen with that he had been refusing to take away and he wasn’t eating or drinking as much when with me either. The note asked why and didn’t he think he should’ve said something.
This has been an odd year and Greg’s no longer being my friend is not least among its oddities though he does have a partner he didn’t manipulate into being his partner, he’s succeeding in becoming an accountant and his depression has largely been mitigated. He doesn’t need me and perhaps, being a pain in the arse, I’m no longer agreeable to him. Maybe then I’m sending him away.
Greg emailed me in reply: he’d committed Facebook suicide; it wasn’t just me he’d unfriended. He was in America tending to his mother who’d had multiple strokes.