I have mostly male friends. Part of that is because I have this idea that men are less drama than women, which I know is untrue and unfair. The other part of it, though, which is perhaps more troubling, is that I crave male attention. If I am in a group and a man comes up to us, my attention immediately shifts to him. Like a sunflower, turning to face the sun.

It’s easy for me to analyze where this comes from. I’ve been hurt and cut down by men for a long time, and men telling me I’m good enough somehow means more than women doing the same thing. I don’t like that. I’ve been actively trying to seek out female friends. But it’s hard, and takes a lot of conscious work on my part.

For eight months, my closest friend was male. He and I became very close very quickly, often spending five nights a week together. He was basically my fake boyfriend – we didn’t have sex, but we had all the other aspects of a relationship. We had long, emotionally intimate talks. I felt close to him, and trusted him, in a way I hadn’t with men for years. I even felt physically comfortable around him. In addition, he admitted that he had trouble getting close to people. He told me that he had never been as open with anyone as he was with me.

Early on, we had a conversation about how we felt about each other. We sat in my bathroom, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes.

“I keep wondering,” I said, “whether I have feelings for you but don’t want to admit it, or whether I don’t have feelings, but think I should.”

He had been thinking about the same thing. We sat and chain smoked, discussing the topic. After several hours, we both agreed that we really didn’t have romantic feelings for each other, despite how much we cared about each other, and how close we were.

In July, something shifted. We started fighting more and more, and we weren’t able to resolve things like we always had. We both felt unappreciated, each one of us feeling like we were giving more than the other. He started being nasty to me. I started getting angry about small, perceived slights. Things just got uglier and uglier, until we stopped speaking to each other. We took a week apart, and then several weeks.

I cooled down and tried to be friendly again, but he was only mean in response. He was still angry, and he picked at any little thing I did that could possibly be criticized, and told me he was mad about it. I got very upset, often crying and then exploding at him in hurt anger.

Recently, I have been coming to terms with the fact that our friendship is just over. Like, really over. And, in many ways, it has been heartbreaking. In other ways, it has been liberating. The intensity of our relationship was all-consuming, and I was always insecure about it.

I try to think about the whole thing as if my old friend moved away, and some new person with his face is here now. It’s that dramatically different. This has all been an interesting exercise in accepting reality: I have realized that perhaps the open, sensitive friend that I knew and loved was never someone he was comfortable with. Ultimately, our closeness and openness was just something he couldn’t tolerate. And all I can do is mourn the loss of someone I loved, and accept it.

So, farewell, friend. I’ll always miss you. But we’ll always have Paris.

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