It’s hard to remember now after all the harsh words have piled up between us like corpses, but I think you must have been a really good person once.
I know this because you are not the bad person that you could be.
I know you like to think you’re special. I know you like to deny you think that too.
The truth is somewhere in between and must be harder than both to bear: you are just as special and just as average as every other token.
I know, I know! You worked hard! It was grit and common sense and good luck and such. But we both know a lot of people with grit and common sense and good luck who work hard and they aren’t you and that gives the lie to the comforting myth that those qualities are all it takes.
Do you remember the time you worked at that company you said was run exactly like “The Office?” I started watching “The Office” after you said that because it made me feel close to you even though we were on different sides of the country. I think about how much you hated working there sometimes. I think about how you would lament that there wasn’t a lick of common sense to be found in the entire organizational chart. I wonder if you would still say that. After all, you weren’t who you are now back then. I wonder if the way that company works, which makes no sense from a working or middle-class perspective, would make sense to you now.
We make an odd pair, you and I. I’m the better Chameleon by far. If blending into one’s surroundings was an art then I would be the master. I am the principal dancer of the social ballet, and like any ballerina I bear the scars of my art with pain and pride.
You are a force of nature, shaping the social landscape to fit you, rather than fitting into it. Just remember that they let you get away with it because they like their tokens to be amusing. And, of course, because you’re charming.
I know you must have been a very, very good person because it would be so easy to be a bad person in your position. It makes me mad when you equivocate on things that are so clearly unequivocal. Then again, you could take the opposite position and take their side completely. They love that even more in their tokens. It makes them feel right and we both know what an addictive pleasure that is.
There are three songs that make me think of you, “When We Were Young,” “Praying,” and “Desperado.”
From the middle, “I hope you find your peace falling on your knees.” From the first, “A part of me keeps holding on just in case you haven’t gone. I guess I still care. Do you still care?” From the last, “You’re a hard one but I know that you’ve got your reasons, these things that are pleasing you can hurt you somehow.”
Oh, who am I kidding, all of “Desperado” makes me think of you. Sometimes I sing it when I miss you. Do you miss you?