Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Dear Former Best Friend,

August 19, 2011

Please don’t hate me.

And if you do, still, please don’t hate me more for including this in my blog.

I have this fantasy that you have been reading my letter’s to Flynt. That you poke around on my Facebook page from time to time to see what I am up to. The same way that I sometimes am drawn to look around yours.

We haven’t spoken for over two and a half years. That seems about right. We were not kind to each other as we moved very quickly from friends for life to never speaking again. That still hurts me. This is actually the hardest letter for me to write, because I know there is an outside chance you might see it. But there are some things I need to say.

I hate how things ended between us. When I tell people about loosing you, they always want to know if we were lovers. We were never physically intimate. No, that’s silly.  But we shared a level of intimacy that is usually reserved for significant others, family members or dear dear friends. Which we were.

You were the one person who was by side when my Dad was in the hospital. You listened for two nights straight as I worked through my conflict of not knowing whether to even show up for this man who had been so bad about showing up for me. Thank you, for giving me the courage to go when I did.

You were there at the bar, The Dead Poet on Amsterdam, that night as I fought back tears and rage when Jack Scott, one of dad’s drinking buddies, wouldn’t stop calling to blame me for just letting Flynt die. You fought that bartender, too. Remember, the blonde lady who wanted to cut me off?

“She’s fine! Okay! She’s just fine!” you insisted. I wasn’t. But thank you.

You were the one who let me wail in your lap, only an hour later, after I found out from my sister that Flynt had in fact passed. I cried that whole cab ride back to queens, remember? In the safety of your arms in the dark back seat of that New York cab. You were there for me. You just stroked my hair and soothed my back and let me unload my painful emotions all over your jeans. Thank you for that as well.

I could really go on and on about the things I have to thank you for. For the friendship you offered in what was a very bleak time in my life. For inviting me to your home that first Thanksgiving two days after, so I wouldn’t have to be alone with my sorrow. For the play you let me perform in when no one else would cast me.  For being so tolerant of me for so many years. I know it wasn’t always easy. Being a mess, emotional, physical, you name it, made it hard for me to be there for you in any substantial way, which I see now. I’m sorry for all the times you needed me to be a good friend to you and I wasn’t able. It wasn’t fair. But it did happen. I owe you my sincerest gratitude and my deepest apologies.

Thank you, Sarah. I mean it. And I’m sorry, I really am.

But the most important thing I’m thankful for might come as a surprise to you. Thank you for finally having enough.

Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time. Two days before theanniversary of my father’s death felt a lot like you were kicking me when I was at my worst. I was, and rightfully so. I had let the emotional plaque of my loss build to a point that was no longer bearable. I actually hated you for it, for a long time. I didn’t understand how you had suddenly become so intolerant.

Truth is, there was nothing sudden about it. It had been four years . Four long years of watching me slowly unravel. I can see now, that if you hadn’t finally told me, angrily one night that you just couldn’t take my shit anymore, I never would have started to look at why I was so unhappy. Why I was such a burden to you, my dearest friend. I was heartbroken at the time, its true. I hated you and I hated myself. I didn’t understand how I had managed to fuck things up so royally with the one person in my life, who wasn’t my mom, that I knew loved me for who I was no matter what.

But I had.

I ran to counseling. After I quickly moved out. I didn’t want to live knowing that your love wasn’t unconditional. I most certainly didn’t want to live with you, constantly reminding me that this was in fact the truth.

I also knew that I couldn’t just “be better” because it was no longer convenient for you that I was I mess. I had a lot of things to figure out. I still have a lot of things to figure out. I also suspected things were going to get a whole lot worse before they began to get any better. I was right.

I left because I didn’t think that you had the patients to help me through that. Did you?  I left because I was afraid the answer was in fact no. I left to say “You can’t quit on me, cause I can just as easily quit on you.” I was wrong. There was nothing easy about it. I left also to prove to you and myself, that I could do it on my own. And I did. Eventually.

But without you showing me the painful consequences for choosing not to deal with my father’s life and death, I don’t think I ever would have made it to the other side.

Which I have. After almost two and a half years of hard and gut wrenching work in therapy, I am the roommate you probably always wanted. I am the Devin you wanted to be friends with in the first place. More or less.

And I really do owe you. I thank you for helping me see. I probably wouldn’t have seen this truth any other way.

On a side note, I lived with myself for the first six months after we broke up. I really was a terrible roommate. I’m sorry for that.

I just need you to know that I will be eternally grateful to you for all the ways you helped me through this. You are a true friend. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I hope you are well.



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Categories: Letters I Will Never Send

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