This year on the playa I had a major revelation about how I deal with people, about my fear of rejection and willingness to be open and vulnerable and take risks in interacting with people.
It was a fairly wrenching experience at the time, one of those tears-and-laughter kind of deals. Afterwards, I felt myself more free and willing to be myself and tell the truth to people, perhaps than ever in my life.
Now, less than a month later, one of my friends from the playa since 2000 has been incommunicado since the burn. Not answering emails, not answering or returning phone calls.
In addition, I spent last weekend hanging out with another friend, whom I've known four over four years as well, and with whom I thought I had a pretty damn close relationship as well. I started to sense a coldness and distance as the weekend progressed, but wasn't sure what to do about it. Afterwards, I sent an email saying, "What's up? If I hurt or offended you, I apologize, I didn't mean to." Not a word.
I'm not aware of anything I did in either of these relationships that was "wrong," or even that was much different than what I would have done before. If anything, I was only being more fully and truly myself than I would have previously been.
Well, I may be one clueless motherfucker, but eventually even I can take a hint -- and it feels like the hint is, "We liked you better before. Crawl back in your shell, put back up the wall, this so-called "real you" is definitely not what we had in mind."
Of course, even in my depressed (and now moderately drunken) state, I'm coherent enough to realize that my analysis may be incorrect. On the other hand, I don't know what the fuck to think instead. Relationships are very important to me, and these were (are?) two pretty close ones. If this is the effect that "the real me" is going to have on people, I'd best shut that fucker down posthaste. Honestly, I think I'd rather be the half-assed me and have friends than be the real me and be alone.
All of this, I think, is exacerbated by the fact that I have felt exhausted, and verging on physically sick, off and on since I left the playa. Last weekend was exhausting, and next week it looks like I'm going to be taking the kids and hitting the road for the better part of two weeks again to work in LA, see my family, and (on the bright side) participate in the Arizona decompression. As good as all that would normally be, right now it just sounds like even more that I have to do, even more exhaustion, when what I really want to do is crawl into a hole somewhere.
So I don't know. I'm probably being overly sensitive. I probably just need to give my (ex-?)friends time and space. I just don't fucking know.
Anyway, there's my happy little post-playa depression story. If anyone was masochistic to make it this far, thanks for listening.