This year's Independence Day took on a new meaning for me. I was finally able to let go of people who have long since let go of me. It wasn't difficult to do; most of the people I thought were true friends turned out to be fair-weather friends. The difficulty was accepting that I was a poor judge of character.
New York is a city of orphans. Everyone is from somewhere else, or want to escape to someplace, if only in their minds.
My official role as social director with co-workers, cast mates, and strays is a thing of the past. I've not gone to a club or lounge in many years, and no longer care what's hot in New York Nightlife. It was a system of supply and demand. The promoters requested names for their guest lists, and I supplied the bodies. After my last hoorah in a club, I felt relieved. I no longer had to worry about what to wear and who to accompany to various midtown and downtown hotspots. I don't know if I've mourned the absence of my annual birthday, brunch, or potluck guests, but I've definitely questioned my bull meter. I was a big brother, mentor, and unpaid therapist to many people, exhausting myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically to help them solve their crisis of the moment.
What was my life that I invited and cultivated such relationships? I'm not a crazymaker, but I used to attract people that would be better served by a trained clinician and a healthy dose of prescription drugs. I used to think it was my destiny to minister to them, but would undoubtedly feel drained and apprehensive each time the phone would ring.
The names in my address book are strangers. The phone numbers once committed to memory have faded with time, just as the sound of their voices, and expressions on their faces.
Is life cyclical, or do people and experiences happen in our lives because they are suppose to happen? Whatever the answer, today I celebrate not with fireworks and hot dogs, but with a sigh of relief that I'm no longer the person I used to be.