a catalog of regrets, pt. 2

The evening was winding down and found us on the porch with a bottle of whiskey to keep us warm as we watched the rain come. Our conversations always took a turn for the philosophical (her influence, not mine), and I mentioned a project I was hesitate to work on because I didn't want to bother anyone. She looked at me with a drunken intensity. "Man, don't be such a fucking coward. The only things I regret are the things I didn't do."

We'd known each other for years. Sometimes I thought of it as more of an alliance of mutual convenience than a friendship--we'd decided to be there for each other because nobody else would. So I was the one she told all of her secrets, just like she was the one who got to see the darkness I tried to hide from the world. We kept each other in check.

I've always felt that anyone who uses the line about regretting things you didn't do sincerely is either a liar or a dangerous sociopath. Every single living human being is capable of acts of unfathomable monstrosity, just as they are capable of doing things so amazingly kind you find yourself telling the story years later. So I said something like "you sure about that?" and hinted at one of the stories she'd told me years before.

"That's not the point. You always miss the point." The point, she explained, was that I needed to stop being such a fucking coward. And she was right, of course. As ever, my quest for accuracy in all things caused me to miss the point completely.

One more thing I regret, I suppose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

like it, that line always confuses me, it seems to mean you should only regret what you have control over. But people have more control over what they can't do then what they can...