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Great Expectations

THAT DAY was a day like every other.

Maybe it was this awareness that tipped the scale.

We’ll never know. But, you know people, we live to surmise.

Thing is, Jeffrey was bored, really bored and had been for quite a while.

I remember him saying to me one day that he was so bored, he was even becoming bored of being bored.

It was as though, through his constant repetition of words like bored, apathetic, unaffected he was attempting to manifest the answer as to why he was feeling the way he was.

Jeffrey was a regular guy leading an average life of ups and downs. Nothing cringe worthy or gossip worthy to be found: girlfriend, apartment, job, handful of mates, nice family and that was that.

What may not have been apparent, to the general public, was that Jeffrey was a dreamer.

Ever since we were kids he had been spinning different iterations of what life had in store. At school, his essays were always the ones the teacher would read out loud to the class as an example of imaginary prowess and evocative descriptiveness.

I, far less endowed and pretty much a take whatever comes your way kinda guy, was mesmerized by the worlds Jeffrey created for himself and others. Maybe, that is why we became best friends.

I was in awe of what I clearly didn’t possess or understand of his exuberant all encompassing personality that brought excitement to my life. While he, who was always bouncing around, was in awe of how total and constant my devotion to him was and didn’t want to let me down.

For years we were inseparable…

Then, he met Laura and we started to spend less time together.

Then, I started teaching and we spent less time together.

Before you knew it, each one was mapping out the course of his life in his own little corner of the world.

It is now evident that his little corner was unbearably stifling to him.

Through the years we would, on occasion, meet up for drinks and dinner. That is when I was introduced to the new frustrated Jeffrey, full of lamentations Jeffrey, the martyr Jeffrey and closer to the end, the unrecognizable silent and closed Jeffrey with no apparent desire (or maybe he was incapable) of articulating the tangled mess and chaos inside of him.

With the wisdom of after, I noticed possible indicators of his capitulation. How, even as a kid, he could never stay in one place and enjoy the here and now. Always needing to go somewhere else for fear of missing out on a better version of the moment and generally being disappointed. He was forever in forward thrust mode on an inexorable quest. But for what?

Did expectations finally clash with reality, did practical overtake unrealistic, did repetition kill desire? Was enough incomprehensible? Maybe he never figured out what happy looked like? Or was it just impossible for him to come to terms with the external world and his interior world?

Jeffrey took parts of me with him the day he departed for good and initially I hated him for it. I succumbed to feelings of betrayal, fear, vulnerability and blame and then an almost debilitating sadness and hopelessness as I attempted to metabolize my loss. And in this most depressed and dark time, was probably when I was closest to understanding him and his turbulence; when I felt him very very near.

In the end, I was happy that he had taken those parts of me with him.

Maybe they were the few things in life that had been constant and that hadn’t disillusioned him.

I really hope so.

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