It is fun to feel foolish but fearless.
Mid-late February 2017
I am old enough to think the whole idea/concept of “ghosting” is a bad, socially unacceptable idea, but at the same time, I am too old, impatient and tired of nonsense to want to explain myself any more. Or to wait for or want weak explanations from others. My reasons for backing off, backing out, ‘giving as much space as needed’ should be plain and largely self-explanatory to anyone close enough to me that I would see fit to pull a disappearing act, as I don’t have the casual sort of millennial-style “hanging out” relationships to which the term ‘ghosting’ most frequently applies. Actual ‘ghosting’ is more literal. For me, it’s a conscious and deliberate decision to withdraw specific and individual care, put the walls back up, even if a person otherwise remains a part of the ‘coterie’.
This is particularly true when I am not the only one withdrawing, feeling all emotion ebb away. It may never have been an intentional “dual disappearing act”, a race to which one gets sick of this first or finds herself indifferent to it all or wherein he finds somewhere else to hang his hat. With neither one so crass as to stoop to actual ghosting – or aren’t we? – instead it quiets, slows and dwindles down to nothing. Heading it off at the pass, pre-empting any form of bastardized and… competitive ghosting, it is time I go back to being a stranger.
(I know that ‘announcing’ the intent negates the whole concept; it is not really disappearing without a trace, but I suppose I’ve got to preserve some decorum. I am, after all, old. And we will both, after all, be relieved.)
She told me that my latest letter gave off ‘different vibes’:
“You couldn’t quite decide whether to be slightly annoyed or to embrace this emotional whirlwind. So not like you! Or at least not like the side of you you let us see. I’ve always seen you as extremely cool and composed in all situations, even somehow untouchable. Men came into your life and then left with more or less drama. But you remained self-sufficient and content to continue living your life.”
Very rarely, maybe only once or twice in a person’s life, someone will appear like a tornado – or maybe a hail of tomatoes – at least briefly throwing everything you know into disarray and drenching everything with a passata-like goo. I suppose this upending of my sense of order explains the different vibes.