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Hard On Me

Posted on: Thursday 10/04/2018 12:35:54

Did you ever do something that made you feel like a POS as a human being? I am having one of those moments this evening. It involves one of my three best friends from high school. Let's call him Jake. I grew up in a big, white farm house on a sleepy road. Jake's family lived down the road in a house back off a huge corner field. Unfortunately, I came back here to find the house gone and instead, two large warehouses, and a strip mall. We used to camp out, and ride mini bikes and go carts in that field. He, my friend Gerry, and I all had two things in common: 1) We were from broken homes and our biological fathers were deadbeats, and 2) were were budding musicians.

We all three managed to get into trouble at school but excelled at music. We all took first chair with our instruments every year for marching, concert, and jazz band. When college time came all went to OSU. Gerry went for business, and has done well in life. I went to OSU for English Education. You know about that. Jake went for music. He didn't want to teach. He wanted to be a song writer rock star. We heard a lot of his songs and went to some of his small local shows. We supported him and he dreams, but he was delusional. He believed the girls who liked him wanted to be his groupies. He got into trouble with ones under-aged. He assumed some record A&R man was going to hear him or hear about him, which didn't happen.

I didn't hear from Jake for years, When I first moved to NJ, he called me. He had gotten my number from my sister. We talk for quite a while, and some things became evident. He had not given up on the dream. He also was not teaching or working another job. This was so he could dedicate all his time to song writing and recording. He was nowhere with it. He was living in a trailer on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Ohio River. He had been married but the woman left him for someone else after three years. He was a heavy bourbon drinker. He had gotten MS, which his mother also had. All he wanted to talk about was our days in public school, and a handful of people from that time whom which he was still in contact.

We talked on the phone once every month or two. It was always the same. He only wanted to talk about school days. He sent me copies of tapes of his songs. He was still hanging on, but they were not good. Several would sound like different versions of the same song. Some were in part rip offs (probably unrecognized) of popular rock songs. It was obvious he was becoming worse with his drinking, and as I would follow in, obsession with the woman that left him. I had not been dumped yet at this point. 

After years of this, I could take no more. He had clinical depression on top of the MS. He wouldn't stop substituting bourbon for meds. His conversations were the same, sometimes with duplicate sentences from the previous call. Here's where I became a dick. I stopped taking his calls or calling him back. I didn't reply to his posts or tags on FB. He messaged me for my phone number when he lost it. I didn't give it to him. Then he dropped out of sight on FB. We were still friends, but there were no posts. I felt bad about this, but he had become this toxic guy whom wouldn't help himself and always sounded like a record with a bad scratch.

This afternoon there was a post advising he was in a group home. I wondered if his drinking had escalated to drugs and he had gotten into some trouble. I wasn't giving him the benefit of the doubt, I know. Then it occurred to me it might be his MS had gotten significantly worse. I went to his page and read a previous post. He had a bad stroke and had been in the hospital a while. The group home was for regaining his ability to walk, write, feed himself, and maybe play music again.

Now I'm an even bigger dick. I know it's not about me, but it makes me know I ended up sucking as a long-time friend. Even though he became extremely annoying, I should not have cut him loose.  I will try to contact him . I will not be surprised if he tells me to go F myself. 

  • kittenheel Says:
    Well, it sounds like he was an alcoholic, and I can tell you from experience that you HAVE to set and stick to boundaries around that disease. Sometimes you HAVE to cut people off. You can still be sad about his other health woes and wish you were there, but a full-blown alcoholic will make that damn near impossible. If he tells you to go fuck yourself, then so be it. You were under no obligation to put up with his bad behavior. It's sad that it has to be that way, but sometimes it does /homepage

  • lunamor Says:
    Let me suggest something totally different: stop looking back. Look at life right now, and moving forward. If he is better, he's better with other people and doesn't need you. If he's the same or worse, you certainly do not need to be around that right now.

  • lermontov Says:
    100% you should have cut him loose. The guy is a deadbeat and a dropkick. Friendship is a two way street and if he ain't been there for you, fuck him.

    Mates are there to stick by one another - not have one of them being a Jack Man.

    BTW, he sounds like a worthless piece of shit

  • Fritz The Bootlegger Says:
    In life, people are gardeners or they are flowers. Right now you need to be a flower. You can’t be his gardener and he can’t be yours. He’s another flower who will steal your sunlight, your water and your fertilizer. You don’t need that in your life.

  • knifeboy Says:
    Thanks, all. After reading your comments I realized I had forgotten that I have had to cut a couple of toxic people in the past. Both were alcoholics and mentally ill friends whom refused to help themselves as I have. They appeared to have been making self-destruction a number one priority. That and your words made me reconsider my feelings./homepage
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