Lindsey Danis ~ Wait Before Sending

1.

Hey dude, I know your birth­day is com­ing up and I was think­ing of you. Sorry we lost touch. Just want­ed to say hi.

2.

Hey dude, Your birth­day is com­ing up and some­times I think about you, and about reach­ing out to say hey.

I’ve been back to San Francisco once since that time we were sup­posed to hang out and you ghost­ed me, and then I nev­er texted you again because I was mad you couldn’t find time for an old friend. That was pret­ty shit­ty.

3.

Hey bud­dy, I thought of you last year when my ex post­ed on Facebook they were mov­ing to Sacramento to teach at UC Davis. I almost reached out but it’s been nine years.

Anyway I was think­ing about that time I vis­it­ed you in Davis and how you fixed my car with duct tape after the dust cov­er fell off again. You were always doing nice things like that, with no expec­ta­tion. You were a good friend.

You lied to Michele, because you were embar­rassed you nev­er grad­u­at­ed and she was so smart, a water engi­neer or some­thing, plus you cheat­ed on her with Cindy and some oth­er women too. I was glad when you dumped her, because I start­ed feel­ing com­plic­it in your lies, and that didn’t feel good.

I guess I should have said some­thing to you, but peo­ple don’t speak to each oth­er that open­ly in San Francisco, and for you it was kind of a com­pli­ment: you didn’t see me like a girl and so you nev­er used me.

4.

Hey bud­dy, It’s been a long time, but I was think­ing of you. Hope you’re well.

Who’s that woman in your Gmail pro­file pic?

Did you set­tle down?

Did you and Ely get divorced?

Did she die?

Or did you real­ize she was only pre­tend­ing to have brain can­cer because she didn’t want to lose you?

Whatever it is, I hope it’s good things. Sometimes I Google you, but your name is too com­mon, so I can nev­er tell what you’re up to.

5.

Hey, I feel like an ass­hole for los­ing touch.

I guess I felt a respon­si­bil­i­ty to keep you in my cho­sen fam­i­ly, because you’d been estranged from your fam­i­ly since before we met. I’m estranged from my dad now, going on nine years, and that makes me feel worse about not email­ing or tex­ting or call­ing you, even though no one calls any­one these days.

I know you didn’t have a lot of peo­ple is what I mean, and I know I was one of them, and then life got busy for both of us, or some­thing. I didn’t mean for nine years to pass but I nev­er could fig­ure out what to say.

You emailed me five months after you ghost­ed to wish me a mer­ry christ­mas, but I hate Christmas, so I prob­a­bly wasn’t in the best mood when I got the email.

6.

Hey You, miss you. Hope you’re well. Happy almost birth­day.

My life is pret­ty nor­mal now. I got out of the indus­try, I have a wife, and I’m almost done pay­ing off my stu­dent loans.

It’s fun­ny, even though so much time has passed, in my mind you’re still the same: bar­tend­ing at the air­port bar, dat­ing too many Asian girls at the same time, and liv­ing in that crap apart­ment out in Vis Valley, the one where you made me come inside the 7‑Eleven so you could buy smokes because it wasn’t safe to wait in the car.

I get it now, about the girls: you need­ed some­one to love you. You need­ed some­one to see you.

I feel bad for hurt­ing you, but I don’t think twice about hurt­ing myself.

~

Lindsey Danis is a trav­el writer liv­ing in the Hudson Valley whose writ­ing has appeared in AFAR, Longreads, and Brain Mill Press Voices. More infor­ma­tion is at lindseydanis.com or @lindseydanis.