Odds are best that you’re not reading this, because there’s a pretty good chance that you don’t even know this blog exists. That’s ok; we haven’t talked in several years, so I can’t imagine you’ve been wandering around, wondering what I’m up to and whether I’ve carved out a corner of the blogosphere. But in case you have stumbled across this place, there are some things I want to say to you.
1. Happy birthday. Your birthday still shows up on my calendar–I keep meaning to remove that, and keep forgetting–so for what the thoughts of an old friend are worth, I hope your day is wonderful. I hope someone brings you a cake with a Superman logo on it, and I hope you get great presents. I hope today fills your heart with joy, and fills your mind with optimistic thoughts about the future.
2. I think I caught you once on the radio, so it sounded like things were still going well on the job front. I hope all your dreams come true there, and that your career keeps blossoming. I hope that someday you get work doing voiceovers in movies, or doing movie trailers, or doing audiobooks; your voice has always been one of your greatest strengths, and I hope that keeps panning out for you in new and exciting and unexpected ways.
3. Please bear with me while I take a brief detour away from the positive and uplifting stuff for a second: I’ve gotta tell you, man, I am nowhere near being finished with my rage at you. How dare you take advantage of the people who loved you most in this world? How dare you hurt someone you claimed to love? Do you even understand how profoundly wrong you were? For that matter, do you realize that if she’d wanted to hurt you as badly as you hurt her, she could have ended you? Your career, your birthday parties, hell, your ability to show your face in that town–she could have brought it all down on you, and she chose not to because she’s not a vengeful sort of person. Have you stopped and given thanks to the universe for that today? ‘Cause lemme tell ya, pal, all the “I’ll try to be at the coffeeshop only when I think you guys aren’t going to be there” in the world doesn’t make you a reformed man; it just makes you a douchebag who’s refusing to take ownership of how badly he screwed up and who’s dodging the issue altogether instead. Which I guess should come as less of a surprise than it has, and that’s just sad.
4. And while we’re on the topic, please allow me to congratulate you on the incredible, amazing, stellar, mind-blowingly brilliant snow job you pulled on all of us. I’m not sure whether to be impressed with you or ashamed of us, that we had a real-live honest-to-god sociopath sitting in our living rooms every week and never once managed to piece it together. Well-played, Sai, well-played indeed.
5. But that brings us to my final couple of points. Please take a moment to meditate on this thought:
Take five minutes to meditate on that. Heck, take 10. Really, really think it through. Because that’s the only birthday gift I have for you this year, Sai: the gentle reminder that yes, you have done some things that should make you ashamed to the very core of your being. You have, on more than one occasion, made the worst possible choice. You have a complicated and ugly backstory, sure, but every day you have the option of doing something–anything–about changing the way your future will play out, and I hope like hell that you’re taking advantage of that opportunity. I dunno, maybe you’ve already had your come-to-Jesus meeting and have figured out how to live a life that has nothing but positive impacts on everyone around you, and if that’s the case, I will gladly and cheerfully swallow the negative karma I’ve just built by dredging up a particularly shadowy bit of your past; but if you haven’t made those changes yet, please know that today isn’t over yet. There’s still time. There’s always time.
6. I’m probably never going to be able to let you back into my universe, because there’s an important difference between “forgiveness” and “self-endangerment”, and I just can’t afford to set that kind of example for my nieces and nephews. I hope you understand that. But I still have love for you in my heart–despite it all, I still have love for you–so please know that on those rare occasions when we bump into each other at the coffeeshop and I don’t make eye contact or say anything to you, it’s because my heart is shattering again into a million tiny pieces, and I am trying not to rush to you and tell you that everything is ok. Because it’s not ok, Sai, and I trust that you understand that. And all I can do in the meantime is hope beyond hope that you have learned from that chapter of your story, and are working now–or are going to work, starting today–on building a life that is ok, a life that you can be proud of, a life that will make us all proud to have known you once upon a time.
Happy birthday anyway, my old friend. I hope today is the beginning of your new Best Life.