I know that I should hate her. What she did was creepy and a total invasion of my privacy, not to mention a complete shitfest upon my trust. So that should mean I’m done with her, right? Then why do I still fucking care? I should hate her, but I just feel BAD for her.
I wrote that in my journal the morning after the ambush. I wanted to fix her, could I be more cliche if I tried? What is it about sad sacks that strum the strings of my bleeding heart? It would have been the right thing to walk away, send her back into Sylvia’s desperate arms.
“Oh, but I’ll give her another chance!” I declared, like a battered wife or the owner of broken bladder’d mongrel. “I’ll salvage this friendship yet!”
Except that a few days later, literally the same week that found her crying on my doorstep, everything went to shit at my job. I had been working at Weiss Meats for 4 years, and it had become a hostile work environment. My boss’s son was in rehab and I was working longer days to compensate for his absence. It was taking a toll on my sanity, and I was getting pissed that no one was telling me how much longer I would have to pick up his slack. It was a Wednesday when my anger blew the roof off the building. Engaging in a furious war of words with my boss, honestly one of the first face-to-face desk-pounding confrontations of which I’ve ever been the co-star, I walked out of my office that morning, for the last time ever. Three days later, the son my boss and I had been arguing about had left rehab and was killed in a car accident (suicide was the speculation).That’s the super condensed version.
The son’s death rocked me, really fucked with my mind. I was all over the place, mentally and emotionally. I was unemployed. I was distraught. I was in shock. And all the while, I had Christina bugging me, wanting to talk “about us.” I didn’t want to talk to her about anything right then. I wanted to talk to Henry. We worked at Weiss Meats together and he knew better than anyone what I was going through. But once again, Christina tried to weasel her way in, tried to desecrate this extremely personal and intimate thing, trauma even, that Henry and I were experiencing by insinuating that she had any idea what I was feeling. If she couldn’t be my girlfriend, she was evidently going to be my therapist.
I started to avoid her again. Especially when she started getting jealous of other friends I had. I had tentative plans to go to this girl Moira’s house for a sleepover. Christina found out about these plans via LiveJournal and called me.
“You better not kiss anyone,” she warned.
Seriously? Because my boyfriend doesn’t even say that to me.
After a little while, my blow-off tactics were finally being noticed by her. She sent me an IM saying, “I’m going to give you some space since it seems like that’s what you want.” But then she continued to IM me! And email me! And call me!
I completely cut contact with her that May. I was so stressed out about the unemployment issues and looking into filing a complaint with the EEOC, that I just couldn’t be patient with her anymore. I needed to worry about what was going on here in Pittsburgh, not how she was feeling in Cincinnati. And to be honest, she was good about staying away. It wasn’t until sometime in July that she IMd me and asked, “Can we be friends again?”
Of course, she had perfect timing. I was having issues with another friend – Cinn – who was blowing me off and putting me in an awkward position by being generally rude to my other friends. “Having someone to talk to about this might not be such a bad thing,” I thought, and I replied to her IM with a succinct “fine.” Besides, Cinn could make the most sniveling sycophantic stalker seem like the stable, sympathetic, harmless best friend you’ve been asking Santa for since you were eight. The kind who’s read every book in the Baby Sitter’s Club series and has a hot dad.
Christina suddenly went from enemy to ally.
And that was her MO: finding me when I was down. Reminding me that when everyone else was too busy to lend an ear, she was always ready and willing. It was like she had an extra sense that would let her know every time another one of my friends fucked me over, because that’s when she would be seen in the best, most pore-reducing light.
However, in that short interim we weren’t speaking, I had made a new friend named Stacey, with whom I’m still friends. Christina of course knew all about this from cyber stalking me and made some comment about Stacey being “cute and blond – just your type.” I”m not even sure what my type of boy is, let alone girl, but Christina apparently had me completely pegged. Aside from that one envy-tinged snide remark, the rest of 2004 was stable. We saw each other once that fall, when she tagged along with a newly outed Steve, who was here to hook up with an Internet boyfriend. Christina brought me the new Used album, but it took me a few months to really listen to it.
Christina of course got back together with Sylvia, so instead of listening to her drone about how much she loved me, I got to listen to her bitch and scream about how bad she hated Sylvia, how Sylvia awakened a rage within her like no other, how Sylvia smothered her and had a forked tongue and made her listen to Top 40.
And again, I turned into a broken record again, repeating, “So just break up with her,” over and over to deaf ears.
I guess I forgot how unhappy I was in 2004, until I skimmed those old journals. No wonder it was so easy for her to leech on to me and drain my emotional blood.