Salad Closet
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You know that friend you have that always posts those cryptic Facebook messages that are all, “Poor me,” and “I’m a bad person,” so you try to be supportive by telling him he’s ok? 

Then, he sends you a private message telling you he thinks you’re cool and that your comments really helped him and he starts paying a lot of attention to you and telling you how great you are? So you become friends, because who doesn't need more friends that think you're cool? And he wants to hang out with you all the time and he introduces you to his family and you become close with them too? Then one day he tells you that you are his “best friend” and you feel kind of bad because you guys are definitely tight, but he is not really YOUR best friend so you just say, “That’s sweet,” but you can tell he’s mad and a few days later he sends you a text calling another girl his “best friend,” and even though he’s still not YOUR best friend, it stings a little to be pushed off that pedestal so quickly, but you’re able to let that one go because you’ve been friends for over 2 years now and this is a silly thing to get mad about? 

Then, all of a sudden he’s getting a divorce and coming over to your house for the weekend by himself, and you haven’t had sex in a long time so you’re thinking, “Maybe this can be a friends with benefits sort of thing?” And you’re excited about that because YOU HAVEN'T HAD SEX IN A LONG TIME, but you’re also freaked out because you know he is really intense and a little bit crazy and when you think about it, that actually makes you MORE attracted to him? Then he shows up and he looks really good and every five minutes he tells you how beautiful and wonderful you are, which feels awesome, but maybe it's a little too much, so you set some firm boundaries about what this relationship is going to be and you can tell that he is not happy about this, mostly from the crying, but he says he’s crying about something else so you let him have that one and as it turns out, he is REALLY GOOD in bed because he knows you so well and you think to yourself that he must have been taking notes? 

Then, in the middle of sex, he tells you that he loves you and it’s easy to say it back because, hell, you guys are close, like literally as close as two people can possibly be in that moment, and you really DO love him too, but after you're finished you ask him to sit down and you explain to him that even though you love each other, this is still a friends with benefits arrangement and NOT a serious, long-term commitment kind of thing and he says, “Ok,” so you just ignore the crying coming from the living room at 3AM, since he’s probably crying about something else anyway and the next thing you know he has talked you into letting him move in and even though you keep saying “temporary,” he keeps talking about your future together and he uses the terms, “boyfriend and girlfriend,” and your head is spinning because all of this has happened WAY too fast and you keep telling him, “stop,” and “slow down,” but he just laughs and kisses you and you roll with it because, did I mention he's REALLY GOOD IN BED? 

Then, little by little he starts criticizing your habits and your tastes and your weight but he does it in such a way that you can’t really call him on it? And he stops paying so much attention to you and he is spending a lot of time texting with other people and he starts announcing out loud how all his other lovers really “understand” him and you say, “Hey!” So he accuses you of being jealous and says, “What do you think is going on between us, anyway?” As if YOU are the one who thinks the relationship is more serious than it is and you think, “Whoa, whoa, whoa wait a minute here...” 

Then, you get sick with what you later find out is strep throat and you have a fever and he is treating you like shit, telling you that you are acting like a “princess” and when you show him the thermometer that reads 102 degrees he says that it, “must be broken,” and while you are lying there all sweaty and sick he tells you that he is going to have to get really drunk in order to have sex with you and you have absolutely no desire to have sex with him anyway, but you start crying because you’re on your second round of antibiotics and your throat still hurts and that was a really mean thing to say? And later, when you tell him that your feelings are hurt, he accuses you of trying to “shame” him and he tells you that you’re the one who said, “I love you,” first, so you point to the place on the sofa where you sat him down and had that talk and he screams, “I said I’m sorry what else do you want from me?” And when you look at him, he has this crazed look in his eyes like he wishes you were dead? 

Then, in the middle of the night, because you can't sleep again, you decide to give him a break because of the divorce and all, and you send him a text telling him you want to go back to being just friends and even though you are really going to miss the sex part, you're sure this is the right decision because the very next day he shrugs it off like he could care less, and he's cold and overly critical but when you call him on it he just looks at you like you're crazy and you are leaving to go to training in Portland anyway so you will have some time away from him to think about all of this and maybe get some sleep? 

Then, he calls you THREE TIMES after you post a Facebook picture of you and a male friend in PDX having a beer and he tells you that he needs to talk to you right away, so you excuse yourself from your friend and you walk outside in the rain and you call him and he tells you that he needs to know what to do with the recycling RIGHT NOW and you say, “This isn’t about the recycling,” but he won’t tell you how he really feels and even though you know, you want him to say it, so you keep pushing him to tell you what the fuck is going on with him and then he yells, “MY FAMILY IS MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY!” As if you have had this argument with him before and have tried to convince him otherwise, so you say, “Okay,” and then he says that he has to move out and you say, “Okay,” again, because you never wanted him to move in, in the first place and then he accuses you of trying to interfere with his relationship with his family and he tells you need to work on your boundaries and, "ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?" Because it is YOUR FAULT HE IS YELLING and even though he completely pulled all of this shit out of his ass you find yourself trying to convince him that it isn’t true, and when you get off the phone you feel a little bit lost because wasn't it YOU dodging HIS advances for the past two years and somehow YOU'RE the one with the poor boundaries? 

Then, he texts you the next day and tells you he is in Portland and he wants to return an item he was supposed to leave at your house and this whole thing is starting to feel a little creepy now, like he might have the potential to be a stalker but you play it off as just a coincidence because, after all, you guys are tight, you have a connection, you LOVE each other so this has to be some sort of mental breakdown or something and you keep telling yourself, “He’s your friend,remember? He’s your friend,” and later you text him about how sad and confused you are about the whole thing and he tells you that he just isn’t ready to jump into a relationship right now and you are like, “What the fuck?” And you find yourself trying to convince him that you don’t want a relationship and it becomes this weird circular argument that goes into crazy land, then he tells you that he is not comfortable with your behavior right now and he asks you to give him some space and you are FUCKING REELING, man, you are PISSED, so you block him on all social media and vow to never speak to him again and at the same time you are so, so sad because this was your YOUR FRIEND and your heart, your heart just aches in a way you have never experienced before and Donald Trump was just elected president and seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING? 

Then, after a few months, a mutual friend tells you he said, “Hi,” And your heart still aches and you still miss his friendship and maybe he’s done with his mental breakdown now, so you text him and ask him if he is up to talking about what happened and he says that he is happy to hear from you and he misses you so you agree on a time to talk in person? Then, he texts you the next day and says that he feels “badgered” into to talking to you even though you only asked him once and he said, "Yes" the first time, and he tells you that he has spent his entire life being afraid to say, "No," to people because he didn’t want to hurt their feelings and he's not going to do it anymore and even though he realizes this might put you in a "lurch emotionally," he has already apologized for his actions and anyway, he already told you he was drunk and doesn't remember what happened and he doesn’t have anything else to say to you about it, but you are welcome to come see his show this week ...?

Do you? Do you know that friend? If so, tell him I said: FUCK. YOU.
Dear John
February 2017
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