Monday, November 18, 2013

Maybe People Just Change?

So ... enough of the snark.  Enough of the jokes.  Tonight I'm doing some serious contemplating ...

As I've vented here many (many) times ... J has been a complete asshole since K died. 

Sure there's the dating thing ... but, in that regard, he's not really doing anything different than a million other lonely, widowed men ... including Paul McCartney.  Being lonely and horny could be, by itself, a forgivable sin.

There's also the midlife crisis issue ... buying a new house and a new car ... and walking away from everything he had with K.  Turning his back on it so much that he jokingly offered me money to burn down his old house with all of K's stuff still in it.  As if that wasn't an insult to boggle the mind.

But even those material things are forgivable.  It's his money ... and even though he made it all from the death of my best friend ...I'm not resentful of something that had nothing to do with me.  Technically, if you wanted to be crass, you could say he earned it taking care of her those last five years.  So if he wants to blow an outrageous amount of money on a vehicle that looks like it was manufactured by Matchbox?  Who am I to judge?.

No ... all of those things are forgivable.  What isn't forgivable is the complete lack of empathy he's had for anyone since that night at the hospital.  I remember what he used to be like.  I remember him calling me at two in the morning ... to tell me that the doctor just called him and we needed to go to the hospital immediately. 

He could've called me afterward.  He could've had that last private moment with her ... and I wouldn't have thought less of him.  But instead we sat together while the doctor told us how that K had passed shortly before we got there.   He took us to her room.  We talked to her ... we cried ... we took turns holding her hand.

That was a moment made out of friendship and love.  That was the person he used to be.

Something turned in J after that.  I saw it at the funeral, if I'm being honest.  He was distant ... he was cold.  I thought it was grief.  I remember him snapping at his mother.  She's elderly and is confined to a wheelchair.  She has moments that are clear and moments where dementia clouds her mind.  The day of her visitation, J's sister rolled their mom up to say hello and she simply asked him, "How are you doing?" and he snapped, "I lost my wife.  How do you think I'm doing?"  It was so hateful and unkind.

And here's the thing ... yes, it was a stupid thing to say.  But I'd said that same stupid thing to him at the hospital 48 hours earlier.  You don't mean to say "How are you doing?" at these moments ... but it just comes out.  On top of the natural urge to ask that question ... his mother isn't well.  His sister hesitated awkwardly and said, "Mom, you probably shouldn't ask that right now."

Well ... let's fast forward nearly five months.  Whatever turned in him that made him distant and cold ... has never turned back.   He is so self-centered.  It's almost unbelievable.  He hasn't asked about my new job ... he hasn't asked about Stoney's parents who were involved in the storm devastation up north this weekend ... and, worst of all, he hasn't asked after one of his best friends whose cancer has returned.

So now ... I'm thinking deep thoughts.  Should someone talk to him?  Should someone sit down and have the hard conversation that has to happen?   Someone is going to have to tell him, "Listen, you had something terrible happen.  You were far too young to lose a wife.  But you have got to snap out of whatever is going on in your head ... stop being selfish ... and start caring about the people around you."

And more depressingly ... is it worth it?  He's not going to listen.  In five months, he's become a textbook narcissist ... so will one person ... or five ... or ten ... or a hundred ... going to get him to listen?  I can almost guarantee that whoever approaches him with this is going to immediately be told to go to hell.  When one couple didn't really approve of him dating two weeks after the funeral, the guy was honest and came to J and told him their concerns ... then told him that no matter what, they would support him.  His response?  "Like I fucking need their approval."

He's so detached from the reality of the situation.  He interpreted my hugging his new girlfriend last week as a sign of me accepting her.  Sigh ...

How can I accept her ... when at this point, I'm not sure if I can accept him ...

I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste
was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

David Bowie - Changes

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