I run into Keith 2-3 times a week at the gym. I ran into him Tuesday night as I was working on the bicep machine that looks across to the bikes he was sitting, and waved at me. I ignored him and turned my head. I walked by him later and he went out of his way to wave and put his hand in my face- I mean about a foot from my face and put his body forward to make sure I saw him. I just smiled.
I ran into him again Wednesday night in the parking lot. He said "what's up Mr. Mike-eeeee?" I said, "nothing." Then this is how the conversation went... OBVIOUSLY NOT WORD FOR WORD... BUT GENERAL IDEA
Keith: What's new with you?
Keith: You always seem so busy and preoccupied. I tried to say hi to you last night.
Me: Oh, I didn't notice. I was thinking about something.
Me: Is there some law that said I had to notice Keith? I guess I see you 2-3 times a week and it is getting hard to ignore you.
Keith: Someone's got a tude tonight.
Me: Damn right.
Keith: Well, I've been busy. Work has been slow, but I have 2-3 good projects coming up that will supplement my income... it's so hard being self employed you know...
Me: And here we go again, all about Keith. Is it ever about Mike?
Keith: Well, how are you?
Keith: What is new with you?
Keith: Well that's good.
Me: I guess I'll come clean and tell you what it is that is bothering me. It started back in probably November or December when we went to dinner and you stuck me with a bill after you said that you would pay after spending the afternoon with you working on a project.
Keith: Yes, oh, that, you could afford it.
Me: No, not when I was in the middle of my student teaching, not when I hadn't been paid in 2-3 months, not when I was saving for things like Christmas, etc., and was relying on my parents.
Keith: Oh, you should have just asked me later and I would have paid it after.
Me: Like come back to you a week or two after this? What does that mean? What the hell does it mean?
Keith: Well, I don't want to lose your friendship over dinner. I'm so glad you are telling me this. It is not a big deal. It already happened. I can take you out for drinks.
Me: It was more than that. It was that I was being used- your ride home from the airport after Christmas, you being so particular on splitting the bill when we went and got drinks at Islands, when you asked me to dog sit and didn't really bother to thank me like you said you would.
Keith: Well, thank you.
Me: Um. OK?
Keith: Well I don't want to lose your friendship over this.
Me: Oh. Um. Well, I don't mind.
Keith: I look at it as favors. I do a favor for you, you do one for me. Friendship is all about favors.
Me: And being used.
Keith: Well, why didn't you just tell me this in the beginning?
Me: I can hold grudges. I don't forget. It seemed like a good idea. I'm still not forgiving. I was deeply hurt and am bothered.
Keith: Do I need to take you out for drinks? Dinner? Lend you money? You name it.
Me: And so you can just use me later? And are you actually going to pay?
Keith: Well, yes, I'm doing a favor, and that's what friends do.
Me: Oh. That's nice. I'm usually pretty busy.
Keith: I know. Well I'm in a relationship now, I'm preparing for the AIDS Life Cycle, I'm training with Eddie, and he's training me, and what's funny is he can run long distances, but I can out bike him.
Keith: I thought at the gym you were just preoccupied.
Me: It's so easy to ignore you, and felt so good, especially after what you did to me.
Keith: I thought you were in a new relationship and were being quiet because you couldn't hang out with me.
Me: I'm in a relationship where there is a guy controlling me? Please. No.
Keith: Well, I figured you could be in a relationship and I was hoping you just didn't need me anymore.
Me: It doesn't take me being in a relationship to see that I don't need you.
Keith: Well, I'm glad we talked.
Me: Oh. Ok...
Keith: Let's hug. Let's make up.
Me: Uh... no.
Keith: Ok... well that's splendipity. I'm so gee golly darn excited now to have talked.
Me: And I'm excited I can go home. We may have talked, but it doesn't mean I'm forgiving.
Keith: Well, now we know the problem wasn't that big...
We part ways.
He texts me about 20 minutes later saying how glad he was that we talked. I didn't reply.