solidarity, pt. 3


When I tell stories about Alex, I'm always sort of a passive character in them. Part of that is because I'm sort of a passive person, but as is the case with all good stories, a lot of it is because I'm lying. On a good day (or bad day, depending on your point of view) I could tell you everything about her, and about our relationship. I'd spent my entire life getting good at observing things, starting with myself and working my way out.

She was the sort of deliberately abrasive person that fancies themselves "brutally honest," so she didn't have any close friends. Just me. And she'd gotten used to the idea that no matter how much abuse she heaped on me, I'd just shrug and deal with it, because we both needed each other--the connection we had was a fucking addiction.

I'd started deliberately needling her, doing the things she always hated. I'm sure I thought it was a good idea at the time. Every time, she'd react the same way--which is to say, badly--and I'd get pissed off and start needling her even more. This went on for longer than I'd care to admit. Eventually all the quiet resentment I'd been building up turned into a white-hot fury, and I drove her away.

When I'd screamed my voice hoarse, I called my sister. She told me stories that made me laugh, and for a while everything was okay. And that was more solidarity than I'd had in years.

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