Stitches

Photo by Marta Esteban Fernando on Unsplash

People have a tendency to fight for their point of view. That’s as natural as breathing. If you believe something, you want other people to believe the same. Respecting other people’s point of view is a chore not everybody want to effort around.

Back in 2020, I’ve gone through a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. My best friend at the time, the closest person to my heart, was on a similar journey and barely able to reconcile how much I was moving astray from what we’ve been living till that point. Our relationship started as a mentoring kind, in church. He would follow me around and I would teach him what I knew, the tenets of faith, the core of ministry, the heart of the job. I would be his spiritual, social and cultural adviser for what felt like a lifetime. That would grow into a mutual respectful kind of friendship that burst into its own good the moment I attacked him with my truth.

Back then I could barely reconcile the contradictions of believing in Christ as a Lord and savior, believing the bible as a guiding force and believing in religion as a means of divine connection. That had been an issue before, being bisexual and christian never really ad up to no good. But that faithful day, I chose to scream in a group call what I found during the first trimester of my pandemic journey. You could not reconcile the fact that the bible would be against being gay, and that Jesus would not answer our pray-the-gay-away requests. That someone could be both a christian — in the sense of being a “new creature” cleansed and restored by the blood of Christ — while also being a homosexual, which the church believes to be part of the fallen human nature.

Those beliefs are a far outcry for me these days, they make no more sense than believing the universe was created by any divine intervention. As a current agnostic I’m prone to hold on to any judgement on which if any belief in divine beings is the truest one and rather live my everyday life holding myself accountable for being kind and doing for others as I wish they would do it for me, but not for the expectation of an afterlife reward for my behavior, but for the awareness of living a healthy life and being responsible for my actions.

On that note, I address you directly. I fully understand and am deeply sorry for throwing that back at you. In the heat of the moment, I threw you away, and in the coming months after that group call, we would grow distant enough to have a couple of good nights out void of the meaning and deep vulnerability we have had before. The last thing you said to my face was “I don’t know how to help you”, to which I replied, “I’m not asking you to help, I’m asking you to stay”. That was the last night we saw each other, and a few days after that, you called me to explain why you would not attend my mid-pandemic birthday picnic. You left me. You hurt me back with the same weapon I hurt you before.

Last night when I called you for the first time since you recognized my voice on the other line of an unknown phone number I had for not more than a year now. We picked up where we left off and we were sorry for missing so many of our bad jokes. For the first time, I told you how I felt that day. You listened and begged forgiveness, which is something that almost two years later I can give you.

I write this while we’re supposed to meet at my corner of the city for coffee three nights from now. I hope we make it and realize a way to move past it and forward, if anything, I miss the last friend I was fully able to open up to, in the vulnerable way my therapist has repeatedly asked me to do.

There is a very intense feeling to having someone stitch up a wound they left on us. Nothing feels better than hearing someone say “I’m sorry I did that to you”. That feels like love times a thousand. Healing isn’t the absence of scars. But scars can become a lesson, a part of us, the very thing missing in our look and stylistic decisions.

I will carry you for the rest of my life, whether by actual continuing friendship, whether by the memories of our time spent together. To say I’m sorry is to never let go.

May the scars we put in each other’s hands bring healing, the way we always expect them to do.

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OTIS

OTIS

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you wouldn’t even be here without a mirrorball (stories, movies and a dark sense of humor)