Monday, October 17, 2011

When Change is the only Constant

My mother told me recently that I had returned with too much negative energy after my brief stint with my father. She based this observation on the "event" which, she is convinced, was just a moment of madness and not a life-altering epiphany. The thing about epiphanies ofcourse is that once they're out, events leading up to it are quite irrelevant. And everyone's free to believe what they want.

For example, I believe that healing moments of pure revelation lead to shifts within your system, which actually leads to something shifting throughout your life. And sure enough, ever since that day, things have been looking up. Sure, there are glitches, but not in an entirely bad way at all.

For one, an ex and I actually found ourselves laughing about life, love and other animals without the slightest twinge of bitterness. Then, all the random people cluttering up my life - gone! Again, no debris of regret or sorrow messing up that view. Also, I'm writing and actually finishing things I start! And finally, an infusion of some really cool people in my life. Oh, and a ghost in my house - but more on that some other time.

So, it works.

But it could also work just that little extra unexpected bit.

Like what happened with Aztec

Aztec and I have been friends for half a decade. During that time, we have seen each other through several personal crises, met each others' families and gotten to know each others' friends. Over the years, as we spent increasing amounts of time with each other, he became someone I talked with about anything. With confidences exchanged and vulnerabilities witnessed and protected, he has been one of my closest friends for a very long time.

And that's all it has ever been.

Yesterday, after an evening of wine and rum, and a bizarre conversation revolving around ideal threesome groupings (including famous and real people, with an in-depth reason for the choice) and a wish-list of partners, he said, "If there was one thing I would wish for, it would be that I was the kind of guy you were attracted to... I've never hurt you and I never will, I adore you and if you can see this working, I would marry you tomorrow." And then he kissed me. And I kissed him back (yes, it's a reflex action and I enjoy kissing and yes, it's got me into enough trouble and let's not go there anymore!)

Five years of a particular and comfortable perspective of the world and suddenly everything shifts off-kilter. With a few more kisses (I blame inertia) and a lot of talking, arguing and generally talking the thing to death, he said, "I can't go back to before." Shocked, I said, "So if I can't do this, and you can't do that... what happens to us?"

He said, "I don't know." Three little words that put me on top of the Most Disposable Relationship List in someone else's life. Again. If I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that I did see this coming. My only comfort in that entire time was the certainty that neither of us would ever make a move which would endanger what we have for something that we probably won't. I have been wrong in the past, and there's a certain kind of symmetry in knowing that I was wrong here too.

The truth is - I do love him and I'm certain he loves me. But is it romantic love? Do I have it in me to find out? While my brain was imploding during and after the kiss, did I also enjoy it? I don't know. Yes, it was nice but it was Aztec! Why wouldn't it be? But did it make me want to go further? Er.. umm... Hmm.

The fact is, things once felt can't be "unfelt" anymore, and it's unfair to demand it anyone. So the only way forward is - forward. My choices are to avoid my friend for the rest of my life, afraid to address this particular development with the hope that if I can't see it, then it can't see me (we all have a bit of Calvin inside us). Alternately, I have to acknowledge that this is a classic case of Timing being great, Chemistry not so much. The fact that a friendship is at stake over this discovery is just unfortunate.

But one thing is for certain - things change regardless of how hard you wish for them not to. Five years ago, I had found myself in this very situation and I made the choice to cling to my friend, regardless of the cost to me. Despite that, we haven't spoken for years - and guess what? It's not the end of the world. Our lives are a product of various choices, and no matter what you do, you can't control the choices of others. And that's truly how it should be. All you can hope for, at the end of the day, is being able to forgive yourself and others and living it as truthfully as you can.

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