Is it a bad thing to not always want the best for others? To wish them ill in spite of yourself?
I am thinking specifically of a certain small and dubious gang of people who used to be in my life but, for various and mostly tragic reasons, aren’t any longer. And for some ridiculous and masochistic reason I like to keep casual track of them, to peek in on their lives and see what’s going on from time to time. I don’t know why I do it when they’ve been lost to me for so long, when I don’t even care enough to not care, when I would be completely devoid of kind words, or perhaps any words at all, for them if we met in a bookstore or a hospital corridor.
The thing is, I don’t particularly want to find any of them happy and well adjusted and fulfilled. Maybe I’m supposed to, but I’ve always taken slights hard. Really hard. In fact, I’m mainly seeking reassurance that their lives are empty and unspecial, perhaps as a punishment in kind for the way they wronged me or insulted me or, worst of all, took it upon themselves to forget about me completely, to wipe me away like a greasy handprint on a car window.
BW a pot-bellied, half-homeless alcoholic playing guitar for change on a downtown Portland sidewalk: life-affirming.
MM dating a trashy Missouri girl and speaking ruefully of the botched past: life-affirming.
PP with his kid in tow, refusing even to return the nothing-favor of asking how I’ve been: not life-affirming.
BS married to someone else and playing out the ruse in ridiculous proximity to me: not life-affirming.
Years down the line, even, the happiness of certain people hits me wrong. The nice-and-easy gait of their existence strikes me as a personal affront. Something I can’t help but feel they didn’t earn and don’t deserve.
I don’t forgive easily. That’s my confession.