Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I know the signs

I don't like what I'm seeing from my oldest friend. When I try to call her, she doesn't pick up and my calls don't go to voicemail because the mailbox is full. I asked her about that and she said she just doesn't pick them up. There's no need, she explained. "I can look and see who called."

1) This means that she sees that I'm calling and just isn't picking up. Well, fuck you very much.

2) When this happened before it was because she was trying to evade calls from creditors. I don't imagine she has much in the way of credit cards anymore. This time I suspect it's her landlady. The landlady wants my friend -- who is on a month-to-month lease -- gone. The place could bring in more rent from a tenant who can afford to pay more. My friend knows she has to leave. She says she's looking for affordable housing farther south in California, closer to LA, nearer her cousin and her daughter.

The daughter I understand. The cousin? Not at all. Her cousin is not there for her on a reliable basis. Here's a post I found from more than a decade ago, and I still have the same gripes. Though with time, I think I understand that the problem may less be with the cousin than with my friend's idolatry of her. Maybe Sharon is just a tired 70-something who doesn't have the bandwidth to give my friend the support she needs, and maybe my oldest friend should recognize that their relationship is rather one-sided and move closer to her son, in Texas. After all, her son invited her.*

3) She spends all her free time answering questions on Quora. Yes, I'm snooping on her there because I'm worried about her. Fewer than 20% of her posts even get an upvote, much less a response. And some of the responses appear, at least to me, to be bots. Quora seems to have replaced her fan fiction, which she's abandoned after seven stories. Her early ones, about the Keanu Reeves character John Wick, grew quite a readership. One of them has been read 31,000 times! (Imagine that!) But her subsequent efforts have met with dwindling success and audience participation. I think this is a substitute for real friendship.

4) I know she's bipolar. I am afraid she's navigating treacherous waters these days without much support. I can't support her if she won't pick up the phone.

I feel very helpless.

 *One of her reasons for not joining her son was actually well though out. She's concerned that there isn't quality medical care nearby. That may be. I was heartened to hear that she was responding out of something more than Sharon worship.

I shouldn't have ordered the lasagna

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Warm, gooey goodness on a dreary day. Very little chewing involved for my still-sore jaw. I know I'm no longer supposed to have spinach (damn kidney stones) but I figured it's mostly pasta and cheese anyway, right? And just this once won't be so bad ...

It wasn't the spinach that got me. I thought I tasted a bit of pepper in there. If there's enough pepper for me to identify it, I'm usually in trouble. 

But still, she persisted.

Last night and this morning were distinctly unpleasant.

Oh well, at least I had a coupon! Next time I go there, I'll stick with the individual pizza.