A comment spoken innocently,
Its only intent complimentary, but you recoil in horror
And inside again I feel my peaceful warrior
Stir to defend from your impending attack.

On my neck at the back
The hairs rise to attention
As you mention that you aren’t that way at all
And are appalled to know I think of you like that.

The frustration in me mounts
As you start to spew a fount of defensive denial
And act like you’re on trial
For that which you do not stand accused.

I listen to you plead your case
And I am sure the look that crosses my face
Must reflect my unwillingness to buy what you’re selling,
And my eyes must be telling
Because you change tacks mid-track to tell me all the ways I’ve got it wrong.

The frustration grows – getting stronger –
Lasting and lingering longer and longer
And in its midst
I’m forced to admit
That it never really ever goes away.

I’m not sure why…

Maybe it’s just that my frustration with this game is that this frustration is just the same it’s always been.
Each time it swells you just say that all is well, and that you understand, while doing everything you can
To show me all the ways in which you don’t.

Maybe it’s taking longer to get past it because I used to be more willing to get into it and to go all the way through it.
But these days, I see with clarity the absolute insanity that it’s becoming
Because I know it changes nothing, and won’t.

It would be different if you were this way every day, but you say you are only this way you are with me.

You say no one knows you how I do, and I’m not sure if that’s true
But if it is then I’m not sure why those who have known you less get the best of you, leaving me
With the rest of all the things you claim you never wish to be.

For years you’ve spoken of me as a friend true blue, the whole time hiding away from my view the very things that make you, you. You’ve been perfectly contented for the persona you’ve invented to turn up in your place.

And even though it wears your face it’s no more the person I know
Than if Orlando Bloom or Dr. Fucking Doom showed up to say hello.
Like an empty room there is a vacuum; and the person to whom I think myself by friendship bound is nowhere
– Nowhere to be found.

Maybe were not working from the same definition,
Because I’ve never though friendship should come with conditions,
And it seems that with you there’s a lot of hoop-jumping,
And placating your fears that I’ll just end up dumping you from my life if I ever really knew you.

But the thing is, I do, and I think that you know it,
And you get terrified every time that I show it, seeming more interested in validation for the total lack of admiration you’re holding for yourself than standing on equal ground.
So you hide among those who are all none the wiser,
Becoming a miser with the truth of you.
At least you are with me,
And I can’t see how the hell the presence of your shell absent your substance is the best for all concerned,
Because it doesn’t work for me.

I try to tell you how I feel
But in your eyes I’m on far too even a keel to really, truly be emotional.
And I am far too together for anything to ever tear me apart inside.

And maybe that’s true and maybe I just abide the turmoil
So as not to spoil my placid disposition while you spit your poison and derision in baptismal self- anointing with one accusatory finger pointing to me as the source.

And it’s your right to self-abuse, of course,
But I am not a part of that equation, though you figure I am.

Which is why I think the frustration mounts
As you start to spew a sputtering fount of defensive denial
And act like you’re on trial for that which you do not stand accused of by anyone
But yourself.

And there is nothing I can do because it isn’t me.

And I can hope all I want that maybe you’ll see, and I can wish all I want that maybe,
Just maybe I’ll be more than a mirror for your outward projection
Of the “not good enough” that you always seem to see in your reflection.
Because I shouldn’t have to make continuous mention of the fact I exist in more than the two dimensions of the movie screen I get mistaken for.

I am more.

And so are you.

And I hope one day, you’ll believe that’s true.
Because on that day, somehow I know, that the frustration that has had all this time to grow like a cancer will vanish like smoke in a summer wind,
And then the person that I call my Friend –
Will be standing in its place.

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