Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Let auld acquaintance be forgot

I used to have this very close friend. He was a big part of my circle for years. He and another friend and I smoked cigars together and went to Mexico together and did theatre together and did all sorts of things together. Great times.

Then he fell into a deep conversation with an actress at one of my parties and soon after they moved in together and then he drifted away. Which happens. I understood it then and I understand it now.

I did try to maintain the friendship, though. I mean, I have other friends who suddenly have love interests who remain my friends. And shouldn’t that be what you want for your friends? If not, maybe you’re not such a friend.

So I would call him and he’d sure-sure me, but then not call me back or not show up. The final straw was in 2004 when I was at the launch party thrown by Nike for the Rockstar energy drink. They took over the Music Box (aka The Henry Fonda, home of that recent Devo concert) and threw open the taps and bottles and generously dispensed appetizers. The rooftop speakeasy provided a great venue to smoke cigars and take in the night time buzz of Hollywood. So I got on my cellphone and invited my friend because I knew I could get him in and because I knew he lived close by — in Hollywood, mere blocks away. He said great, thanks for the invite, he’d be right over. An hour later I called him back and he answered his phone at home and then I knew it was the last time I’d be talking to him.

Me: “You’re still there.”

Him: “Uh… yeah. Sorry.”

Me: “I called you an hour ago and invited you and you said yes and now I call you and you’re still home. So you’re not coming.”

Him:  “Yeah. Sorry.”

Me: “No. It’s okay. I get it. I got it.”

Him:  “No. It’s not like that.”

Me: “Yeah. I think it is.”

Five years went by.

Two Fridays ago I got a call on my cellphone. It was him. “Hey, it’s [name here]. Uh… I’m going to call you at your home number too.”  Five seconds later, my home phone rang and he left a message there too. Asking me to call him.

So here’s what I’ve done:  Nothing.

Oh, I’ve been tempted to text him and say I’m going to call him right away, and then do nothing. But that seems petty.

As soon as I told our third friend that our former friend had called, he said, “He wants something.”

When I told my playwriting group this story, a friend in the group immediately said, “He wants something.”

Wants something as in, wants something that will benefit him. And that’s my thought too.

I deleted both messages and forgot about it until five minutes ago when I thought I’d post it here for posterity. And, who knows — maybe he reads this blog.

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