By Simon Heywood
This poem in some aspects acts as a part 2 to Summer Ghost, the poem posted previous to this one. This explores another friendship gone south, however in some ways it explores not just one, but the multiple that have. This poem was very very loosely inspired by a song lyric from Rent‘s “Take me or Leave Me.” The lyric went “Women, can’t live with them or without them.” First I thought, “true,” but then I thought about the impact these former friends of mine had on my life, and somehow I’m still pining for something that is long gone.
Let’s just say, this summer, when I opened myself up to trying to write poetry, it made me dig deeper into my emotions than I realized. I revisited all the pain that came from all these traumas. That sent me into a downward spiral in terms of my mental state. It made me realize just how much my past is so connected to my present. The same thing was happening again and again; the echoes did not fade away. It was loss after loss.
Losing the amount of people I did in my life, I lost myself too. When trust was lost between the former friends and I, I lost trust with myself. When love was lost between them and me, I lost more love with myself. Sometimes, with a few friendships, trust is lost but we still care for each other enough that we want to fix things. And then comes the actually trying part, where I try and they don’t.
Despite writing this through word vomit, fresh emotional wounds, and no editing before posting it, this piece stuck to me and I’d like to say it is one of my best because of the first stanza. “I’ve spent all this time/Proving that I’ve changed/But by doing so/I’ve proved that I haven’t.” We can try all we want to reach those who see us one way, to try to show that we aren’t how they see us. However, in doing so we only prove them right. It’s reminiscent of the whole sentiment “the more you chase after happiness/the more you try to be happy the more you will be unhappy.” The more I try to prove that I am not how this person sees me, the more I start to become what they see.
That’s the hard truth of life. You can’t win everyone’s hearts. You can’t get everyone to like you. No matter how much you try, sometimes it is the act of trying that creates more resentment. Even when you don’t try and you’re just living your best lives, there are going to be those out there that will just be resentful of that.
This poem was written for all the times friendships went sour and the friend would give the appearance of still caring, but not truly caring. If any of these former friends of mine actually cared about rebuilding a new friendship, then they would have reached back out and showed the effort.