On being a friend

Monday, my roommate, Barb, texted me at work about the bombings. She was very shook up. She didn't want me to take public transit home. I was in a meeting so I didn't get her next few (5) messages until later.

The the gist of last one was "don't go quiet at a time like this". Later Monday I sent her a message saying that I figured public transit was safe enough and that I'd go to the clinic on my way home because I had this insane cough.

Better now, but my body, my chest, my neck, my head are hurting from the spastic coughing fits. Anyway.

When I got home Monday night I knocked on her door. She was in bed unusually early, a pretty good sign she's depressed or generally not feeling good, but there was no answer to my knock and I was wheezing, proofing and generally feeling the effect of the codeine cough syrup.

I'd bought a ton of junk food and after I'd loaded some bowls with the stuff I put a note on the counter saying "have some junk food", then I took my racking cough and the junk food to bed.

I went on Facebook and left what I thought were supportive messages for another friend. His dad is in the hospital with cancer and his mom, who is an alcoholic, is being extremely narcissistic about the whole thing. She's saying it should be K in the hospital and such things. She is normally pretty crazy, but without the dad around K seems to be kind of loosing it. He usually uses FB as an outlet but tone of the anguish has been worse recently.

Monday, he went on at length about how despite hating his mom he'd stand by her because she is family, etc. He posted a longish rant about how he conflates all women with his mother and that he is aware of doing so, but he's been hurt by being a fixer upper. There was also some stuff about friends that weren't friends and good riddance.

I posted a couple of responses, some which were meant to be humorous, "use paragraphs", "you're not my kind of crazy", and some which were meant to be supportive, "I'll get back to with my thoughts on your problems", and "I did check out plane tickets, because it sounds like you need a buffer". The last was a reference to a comment he made last wee. His mom had said they needed someone in the house, it was too quiet and K agreed asking for people to come visit.

I'd also, during the afternoon posted some pretty damning comments to a right wing blogger who was complaining ppl were already blaming the bombings on the right. I said stuff like "WTF is wrong with you" and "obviously, you're the victim here". Because that's what I do when I self righteously crusade for decency and solidarity, I point out other people's self centeredness. On a self congratulatory note, I did not attack the tweeter who said she hoped that all those people posting prayers didn't just want attention.

Anyways, the point is that K is a conservative with a libertarian bent and rather prolific about it.

K sent a message that said that further comments like that and he'd have to ban me. He didn't specify which message -- it feels mystery anger Frank liked to exhibit -- I figure it's either the political thing (me trying to get an angry laugh at some dipshit's expense), or he figured the buffer thing was a veiled jab at his mom, or he got upset about the damaged comment. I sent a message apologizing and asking him to clarify.

Which is more than I did for Barb. And yeah, even though Barb is clearly more important and a more acute issue, I am falling all over myself to think on the K situation instead. He doesn't live in my house, he is more overtly aggressive, he is easier to deal with because that situation is clearly not about me.

In retrospect I should have called Barb Monday. Sure, I am not responsible blah, blah, blah, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't or couldn't meet her needs.

I am seriously uncomfortable with emotional outbursts. My own, not so much, well, beyond hating to feel needy and weak, but others are difficult.

All day yesterday I was seriously conked out. Walking around made me pant and sweat and I spent most of the day in bed coughing, sleeping and watching TV and eating.

By the time Barb got up (it's not a good sign when that happens in the afternoon) I'd eaten all the junk food and removed the note.

Yes, it was meant to be conciliatory. I was hoping we'd eat milkduds and chat when I got home Monday, then I figured she'd feel the live if I left some milkduds for her. But yeah, then I ate them all. So, in addition to the coughing and I was sick from eating and spent some time coughing, retching and panting with my head in the toilet.

I met Barb in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and said an experimental hello which was met by a grunt. It sounded exactly like the kind of grunt I direct at someone when I am pissed with her but can't confront her because a) she should know she's being an arse b) I am worried I am overreacting c) I am too triggered for a rational conversation d) I am mad with myself for being afraid of confrontations e) and even madder for wanting approval.

On Wednesdays we have a thing, we meet and chat at eight. I missed it last week, spaced it, to much the same effect as spacing Ted's and my wedding anniversary.

I should do something nice for tonight. Something more involved than buying stuff (why is it that buying presents is my way of showing people I care?). I know it'll look like I am trying to find a cheap way out, but I could follow it with some honestly that'll sound false, stiff and insipid. Even though it's not.

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