Tag Archives: friendship

The Waiting Game: “Promises are Meant to Be Kept.”

Awhile back, an old friend popped into my head. You know, someone you haven’t seen or thought of in years, just magically enters your thoughts. Why this happens, we don’t know. Is it divine intervention? Is there some ‘behind-the scenes’ brain chemistry at work that just randomly brings up the person?

Whatever the case may be, it happened and I took it upon myself to find them on Facebook and reach out.

1102721_10151532596951230_1348320316_o.jpg

I say ‘old friend’, but not in the traditional sense. This was an internet friend, someone I had met through Youtube before it was even a thing. He was an actor, on the cusp of hitting it big time. We had talked off and on on Myspace and our connection was lost just by circumstance and the changing technology.

So, when I reached out, I was happy to get a reply. He did in fact remember me and our connection had a few bars again. I was thrilled. Over the moon. While I did consider him a friend, he really was admirable. I hoped to one day reach his calibur of talent and visibility in the entertainment world.

As we began talking again, I caught him up with all my projects. I went ahead and shared with him of a failed project, “Three Little Words.” It was a web series created after a group of friends had agreed to do a project with me. I had done theatre all throughout high school and all my friends were actors. But, without dragging the story along— people dropped out, thought the material was too serious, “got busy”— and it just went nowhere. It still pains me today, that friends who at the time were very involved in the acting world— thought they were above it all.

Before I gave up on the project, I had written a few monologues for the major characters for audition purposes. In the end, only one ‘actor’ performed for me. I say ‘actor’, because he really was a male model and after watching his performance, I realized the ability to act was something you either had or didn’t have

After hearing my story, my old friend said, “Well hey. Send me the monologue my way. I’ll do it!”

The thought of asking him to perform one of the monologues hadn’t crossed my mind at all. I was just sharing my woes. So, you can believe me when I tell you I nearly jumped out of my seat after hearing this from him.

Someone with TALENT was going to bring one of my characters to life. The rush of happiness that I felt can not be described. It was at this moment that I wondered— had he popped into my head to ultimately lead me to finding a competent actor?

So, I sent him over the monologue for the character of Todd Walker, the antagonist. I was pretty excited because villains are more fun to write than heroes and they’re more fun to play, too. And with that, we said goodbye. I figured he’d be prompt and get a video of himself performing it for me within a week.

Boy, was I wrong.

The-Waiting-Game.jpeg

Time slowly ticked by. A week, a month… I was getting anxious. I didn’t want to bother him. He was a hard working young man. He had a girlfriend. Life was busy. So, I waited some more.

When we reached the two month mark, I figured I’d go ahead and ask again. I caught him online and shot him a “hello.” We had a pleasant conversation just about how things were going. When it felt right,  I snuck in a “I can’t wait for the monologue” comment. He responded with: Yeah, I’m probably the worst with taking my sweet time!

I realize now there might have been some kind of problem then. He had apologized for not getting it done, but there was no confirmation I’d ever see the monologue performed. At the time I didn’t realize this and thanked him for chatting and The Waiting Game began again.

Another month went by. And it was now his birthday. I always try to say something personal to people on their birthdays instead of just the generic “Happy Birthday”, so I wrote him a short little birthday wish and sent a message.

He replied with a thank you and nothing more.

The Waiting Game started again.

Another two months go by.

By this time, the monologue had been in his possession for five months. I was frustrated, worried, and confused. He had offered to do it. We were friends. What was the hold up? I wrote to him again, being more direct, but still polite.

He responded a few hours later, but not how I was expecting.

You see, aside from acting, he was a published author. And way back when, he had offered to send me his book. And his response was that he had a surprise for me. He hinted at it being his book, so I thanked him. It was then he said the monologue would need to wait until after his exams were finished.

But you see. In looking at the situation now, this was a distraction. He didn’t want to do the monologue. So instead, he changes the situation around with him sharing something else I had asked for years ago.

It was another two months before his surprise arrived. It wasn’t just his book. It was that and a lot more. He asked me to not share anything of the contents, so I suppose I’ll still honor that. It goes without saying, he put a lot of effort into what he sent me. It was a really good distraction. He did acknowledge me “waiting so long” for his book and thanked me for “putting up with” him.

I was so touched by his kindness, this ‘surprise’, that I had the thought that perhaps, he was just too busy and that I didn’t really need him to perform the monologue anymore.

So, I wrote to him saying we could forget about the monologue.

He responded with “No, no— I’d still like to do it.”

But, he had just had surgery on his eyes and he couldn’t read! “They’ll be better in two weeks,” he said.

So, yet again, The Waiting Game starts for the umpteenth time… but I am sure he’ll honor my request. He ‘wants’ to do it, after all.

We talk a bunch as time slips by. Five months to be exact. I didn’t ask about it once, but it was often on my mind. His eyes were better and he had vacationed in Cuba.

A monologue takes a person five minutes to do.

So, I write him a longer message now. I talk about how I admire him, how he’s a real talent, and maybe, he’ll find enough time to perform this tiny little thing for me.

“Send it again” he says.

The next day, he sends me this:

12180070_10153062071736230_33462880_n

“One must print and highlight or one is not taking it seriously”

Oh my god, it’s actually happening. Holy shit. Adrenaline rush.

“I’ll send it tomorrow,” he writes.

Tomorrow comes. Tomorrow Goes.

He’s had the monologue for over a year now. It’s a new year. And I wish him a happy one and remind him once again– “Hope I get the monologue soon!”

He didn’t respond at all.

One more month goes by. He’s had the monologue since July of 2014. And it is now 2016. I ask him flat out, is the monologue this bad? What follows was one of the oddest conversations I’ve ever had.

He mentions Occams razor. (How do I solve this problem?) And he proceeds to tell me he’s joining the secret service. I am so incredibly confused and very frustrated by now.

“I don’t want to keep waiting”, I finally say, a year after the fact.

He reads the message but that’s that.

I decide to cut the cord. Hit the delete button.

But… The Waiting Game had begun again.

The show wasn’t over…

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Drugs and Suicide: The Bitter End (Meeting Tyler #5)

My friendship with Tyler always had cracks. They’re easier to see now. They were always there. However, the cracks really began to show my second year of college.

Tyler had periods where he was distant and during this time, those periods were becoming more frequent. Finally, after asking about it, he revealed to me he had ventured into drug use. He had attempted to keep it a secret from me, but it was too much for him to hide. He told me he was only smoking weed. He told me it wasn’t dangerous and that it made him feel good.

Image

Of course, I didn’t like this at all. He knew my stance on drugs and it made sense why he was keeping his secret from me. He would never admit it, but I knew the drugs were a coping mechanism. He was having trouble with his father, his job, among other things.

From that point on, the friendship went downhill faster and faster. We’d hang out, but he would be high. As time went on, he’d be higher each time. Some times, he’d giggle forever or he’d just want to watch tv and snack. Hanging out with him was boring as shit. But I didn’t have many friends, so I overlooked his flaws. But, it soon became too much to ignore.

Before long, I was covering for him. One time in particular, RACHEL, the girl he had been crushing on, made an unannounced visit to his apartment. “SHIT!” he said and ran into the bathroom. I followed him and watched as he placed drops into his eyes. He blinked and screamed, “Do they look clear? Fuck, what do they look like?” They were still red, so I told him I wasn’t sure. He rushed into telling me to stall Rachel and he slammed the door.

I let Rachel in. She was always polite. We hugged and she asked me how I was. I had to turn my acting face on and not let my panic show. “Fine! I’m great. It’s so good to see you!”

“Where’s Tyler?” she inquired. I stammered for an answer. But, right on cue, Tyler emerged from the hallway, wearing sunglasses. I couldn’t believe how dumb he was. I knew enough that sunglasses hiding bloodshot eyes was the oldest trick in the book.

Rachel giggled. “Sunglasses? Inside? That’s strange.” She said, giving Tyler a hug.

“I just found these bad boys… I had been looking for them forever…” He then removed the sunglasses… and his eyes were pretty damn clear.  Tyler was a masterful liar as this moment proved. He was convincing, Boy, did he ever dodge a bullet.

I was very angry with Tyler after that. I argued that he needed to tell someone, that he needed help… but it all went on deaf ears. Combined with my insecurity and my social anxiety, I began to crumble. I had relied on Tyler as my support for years by this point… and he was unable to fill that role. He was always high or drunk. And, I soon learned he had ventured into acid and other drugs.

By this time, I was an emotional wreck. My friend was no longer the guy I had first met and I was in a deep depression. Our friendship was very unhealthy at this point. Tyler would say things to me that scared me. He would say, “Who else are you going to hang out with?” and “I won’t be your friend if you tell anyone.” These sorts of comments increased.

I remember one particular night where he said the most chilling thing. I had texted him late in the morning and asked to see him. He had been my ‘therapist’ since the beginning and I was sick enough to still call upon him in his drug use. This night, he actually came. We met outside the dorm and sat on the bench.

I remember it was cold and I could see his breath. I’m sure he was high, but I’ll go ahead and say I think this was the most lucid I had seen him in months. He calmed me down like he had in the past and I was relaxed. He then said he had to go. I can now say I saw him wanting to leave as abandonment. I didn’t want him to leave. I wanted to hang out with him. So, I confronted him, saying he never called anymore. He never responded to texts. He never did this, that– He was not the old Tyler.

We were two sick people. I was a doormat and he was a manipulator. After I called him out, he began a monologue of hatred.

“You do realize I just came and talked to you… I just sat here and listened to you bitch and moan like you always do….”

In this moment, Tyler’s opinion of me mattered. So, as he went on, my emotions got worse and worse.

“You don’t do anything for yourself. You just drain me all the time… “

His words then took a more devilish turn:

“You need to know, I’m the only reason you have friends. People get so annoyed with you. But I stick up for you. I tell them you’re a good guy. I was the one that pulled you into the group. No one wanted you there. But I was the leader so they all did what I wanted.”

And then, he ended his tirade with the most evil, vile thing he could have said:

“You know I could make you commit suicide if I wanted too, right?”

Our friendship was still “in tact” a little after that. But, he never returned calls or texts. I would talk with Rachel and other people he knew. But no one could make him talk to me or resolve the problem. I went back and forth of trying to rationalize his behavior to wanting him to feel a lot of pain.

One night, after months of nothing, He answered his phone. I was so happy he answered but realized he was in no shape to talk. He was “shitfaced” meaning he was drunk and very high. He slurred his words, had long silences and eventually hung up on me.

I was pissed. Anger overtook me. I wanted his world to crash down and I was on a mission: I texted his younger brother. I was very dramatic in my text: You have to know, your brother Tyler has a secret. He’s been doing drugs for awhile. I think he needs help.

I never got a response.

A few weeks later, Tyler called me up. I thought, “Oh shit… I’m in trouble…” But, he wanted to hang out. He sounded sober. We went for a drive and grabbed some fast food. We had a nice talk and all seemed fine. He opened up that his life was chaotic right now and he apologized for “all the shit” that happened in the course of his use.

I thought about telling him I had texted his brother. But, it had been weeks and I figured his brother had shrugged it off…

Well, that was the last time I saw Tyler.

Obviously, his brother eventually talked with him. One day I called Tyler and I heard a message saying I had been blocked from calling the number.

For two years, I struggled with guilt and attempted to get a hold of Tyler. I wanted to talk with him, explain that I acted out of anger… I was sad for a very, very long time.

He made good on his threat. “You tell anyone I’m doing drugs, I won’t ever talk to you again.”

Looking at the situation now, Tyler was extremely abusive emotionally and he was manipulative. He knew not talking to me would drive me insane and it did cripple me for a long while.

As I think about him now, he is not a bad person. He is just very sick. His anger, his sadness— led him down a certain path of no return.

I can not claim my life is in perfect shape. But, I can say that I am taking steps to better myself and to live. I have bad days, still. But, I am no longer in a constant state of sadness.

While I haven’t heard from him myself, I sometimes hear through the grapevine about how he’s doing. I know his pain has increased and he does not know what to do with his life. And I also know that a majority of the people we both knew no longer talk to him.

Tyler took so much pride in being the most popular person in the room. As I think of what he told me that one night, how HE was the reason I had friends— and knowing he no longer processes the social power he once did— I smile.

I smile because my greatest fear was being alone. And after it all, I’ve maintained friendships with the people he proclaimed only spoke to me because it was his wish.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Meeting Tyler Durden: Part 1

Image

We all know the name. We all know the personality. We all know the danger. Tyler Durden. While Tyler Duden is a fictional character, we have all  met him in our lives. He can be a he. He can be a she. I guarantee at some point in your life, you’ve met a ‘Tyler Durden.’ Their looks are twice as good as yours. Their charisma is off the charts. You toss and turn at night, wondering why you weren’t them instead.

Durden comes from the story FIGHT CLUB, where Durden represents what the narrator wishes to be and exhibits characteristics the narrator can only dream of having. Of course, it is revealed later in the story, the Narrator is in fact Tyler Durden, a sort of split personality.

This is the beginning of my story of when I met Tyler Durden in my life. I met Tyler in high school. Tyler wasn’t really a looker. He was 5’7′, not fat. Not thin. Just where he should be. His hair was fluffy and blond, his skin fair with a touch of redness. Where he lacked in looks, he made up for personality. When he talked, you listened. When he smiled at you, you felt acknowledged. We were theatre geeks. While I was primarily an actor, Tyler was also a techie, meaning he sometimes worked on the sets, sounds, or lights of the productions. That was one thing he had over me. I lacked the skills to be technical and admired him for how he could build and design. Like many friendships, I don’t remember exactly how we became friends.

Admittedly, friends were new to me— I was often alone and rarely got out. So, at the age of 16, when social acceptance is so highly important, I found myself with a best friend. It was my opinion that Tyler was very good with people and he was popular. People fought to sit by him in class, people wanted to have lunch with him and so on. I had somewhat become his sidekick— glaringly awkward, but accepted because Tyler Durden wanted me in his group. And that’s exactly what it was. The entire theatre department was divided into three groups. The Popular, The Seniors, and the Outcasts. The Outcasts was where we all start. And I was in that group until Tyler brought me over to the Popular. Tyler was only a sophomore when he and I met, but it was my interpretation that aside from The Seniors, he was the one to be friends with. Tyler came from a broken home life. He was affected by his home and it wasn’t a place he ever really wanted to be. Without going deep into such private information, I will say from a theatre standpoint— Tyler felt pressure from his youngest brother, who was musically inclined and somewhat the apple of his mother’s eye.Image

Tyler’s brother was getting into professional shows where we lived and winning all kinds of awards. I would often try to help him by giving him words of encouragement. But he seemed to always block my words. While I knew about his pain from what I observed, he never told me anything. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me, because he would never share intimate details of his life or thoughts. I asked him about it one day and he replied, “Don’t take it personally. I’m just a private person.” When I was finally a Senior– he a Junior— I found myself in a war with Tyler and the Seniors. You can’t be friends with him, they’d say. He’s part of the PROBLEM. You see, in short, The Seniors were somewhat rebelling against the department. There was an issue during a production and they wanted our teacher fired. Image

For the sake of the story, the teacher did nothing wrong. Some Seniors had broken rules and when punished, they sought revenge. And truth be known, I had never really fit in with these group of people— the people that I ‘should have’ been friends with, because we were of the same class. Now, while some Seniors I did get along with, the main click of that group I did not. For awhile, there was this push pull. The Seniors tried to entice me with offers. Offers of ACCEPTANCE. I was even offered a chance to be featured in that year’s talent show— being run by the Seniors. They had a petition they wanted me to sign. The petition to fire the drama teacher. I didn’t give in. I didn’t sign. In the end, the problematic Seniors left the department and all that was left were a select few– and then, Tyler and the rest. With The Seniors gone, Tyler shot up to the top. Now, understand, this is all sociology. There wasn’t actually a GROUP called “The Populars”, etc. But socially speaking, there was a division and now, Tyler was the leader. And for the rest of the year, everything was dandy. Absolutely fantastic. But, things soon would crumble. Tyler Durden ‘s smile would soon turn into an angry glare—

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: