Monday, October 11, 2004

A Letter To A Former

Dear Toby Trew Martin-

I have a million things still left to say to you. I want to talk to you about everything, nothing, and anything. I just want to stand in front of you, with my eyes and ears wide open and I want to really listen to you. I want to respond to you, yell, cry and talk until dawn. I want to use words like ‘sorry’, ‘regret’, ‘maturity’ and most importantly, ‘friendship’.

But I can’t do any of these things.

You’ve rejected my attempt to start up a new friendship with you and I’m not exactly sure why. If I knew why, I could stop mulling it over and I could completely move on. Trust me, I have moved on- almost. But knowing why you did what you did, would help me to better understand. You were so rude to me, so uncharacteristically so…that I still shake my head in confusion more than a month later. I sincerely hope that the person that blew Jessica and me off that night is not the person that you really are today. It would be such a shame for you to have grown up into such a rude asshole. And you know that you were being an asshole that night, I certainly didn’t have to say it for it to be true.

You were always the boy with the heart of gold. That sounds corny, but it’s true. You were the person who cared about others, before yourself and you were so likeable, without trying too hard (or, I think, even knowing yourself that you were trying at all). You had a good soul and it took me years to realize that what I really wanted was to be like you in that respect. I wanted to be happy, almost obliviously so and I want to enjoyed my life like you seemed to have enjoyed yours. I wonder now, if after our encounter, if something is wrong in your life. If perhaps you are not in a happy spot? Maybe you are angry or frustrated or something else that causes you to blow people off like that. I hope like hell that the person I saw for a brief moment that night, is not who you are today. I also wished that I had been given a chance to show you who I am four years later, and how I’ve changed both physically and emotionally.

These last few years in Oregon have been a turning point for me. A fresh start does not begin to describe what’s happening to me. Would you believe that I can go days without yelling and screaming or crying? I don’t use physical abuse towards anyone. I spend time in the outdoors, exercising and learning to enjoy everything around me. I don’t go through terrible highs and lows. I don’t have the health problems that I had when we were together. I am no longer a couch potato- on a regular basis anyway. I find it’s easier to laugh at the things that go wrong, then to sob. It’s easier to talk things out then to get all huffy and stomp away. And it’s certainly easier to face my problems then to hide from them. It’s funny, the more that I think about it- for every pound of fat I lose, I seem to lose a pound of anger too. It's taken me a long time to learn to live without being angry. I’m not sure what to chalk all the changes up to- maturity? I hardly feel like a 27-year-old. Moving 3000 miles? That was incredibly hard in the beginning, so much so, that I feared I would come home before the first summer was done. Losing weight? My problems haven’t exactly melted with the 62 pounds gone. Making headway on my goals? Possibly. I find that I take pleasure in school because I know it is the next step to getting where I want to go, but, damn is it hard! I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. And with design school on the horizon, I see it getting only increasingly harder.

Oh, Toby, I’m so different than I was before. I genuinely regret that you are not able to experience the person that I am today.

Maybe that is why I contact you last spring. I knew that I was moving in the direction of being a whole, lovable person and I wanted one chance to show you who I was becoming. Because you deserved that. Among many other things, you deserve to see the person that I really am, that I can really be. Because you were there when I was at some of my lowest lows. And if I remember correctly…you loved me, even then. I just wanted a chance to show you that I could be a better friend than I ever was. I was hoping to transcend the pain of our break-up and the subsequent silence. I wanted to find a relationship with you that I didn’t have before. A mature friendship that was emotionally level and even between us. That sounds like a load of crap, but I am totally serious here. I just really wanted to be friends with you again Toby. And for reasons that I can only speculate on, you have rejected me.

So, by the way, what was the reason? I’m just curious. I want to type some angry quips, jabs and rants here but I won’t. But I would really, REALLY like to know what the hell happened that night. Why would you invite us over, and according to Jessica, be ecstatic that we were all going to hang out…only to run out on us, literally turn your back at the last second because you ‘had something more important to do’. Seriously, was it payback? Cause if it was, I can take it. I’m a big girl. But if it was payback, why drag Jessica into it? What did she ever do to you? As far as I know, she’s always been nice to you and wanted your friendship. You ruined things between all three of us…and why? Just because you were mad at me? Dude! What the fuck?!?! What an inappropriate way to show your anger towards me. You’re 26-years-old and you felt that the best way to deal with not wanting to deal with me was to blow me off like that. And why were you putting up with the communication between us for the prior 3 months? Why did you hang out on the phone all the time and talk to me? Pity? Boredom? What’s wrong with you? I really wonder if you were high. From the things that I’ve been hearing about you before we dated, I wouldn’t be surprised. How sad. I hope that something as dumb as drugs has not taken over your life. It would be such a waste with all the talent that you possess.

And Toby, you are really fucking talented, you know?!?

I am so proud of you and your accomplishments with your art. Graduating from MATC, your art gallery shows in Madison, even your mock portfolio website…these things are really something to be proud of. You are so talented and it’s really a joy to see you working with your art, even if it’s still on the side. I always knew you could do it. I just wish that we were closer as friends to share success like we had shared the failures.

I’m sorry for a lot of things Toby. But the biggest thing I’m sorry about is not appreciating you for who you are (or were?), even above the whole breakup fiasco (which ranks a very close second). I’m sorry that I couldn’t see past my own selfish little life and see what a great person you were then, and how you treated me, as well as how you lived your life. If there was just one thing that I could say to you, it would be this: You have affected me profoundly in many ways, dear Toby. I am only beginning to understand what you meant to me as my first boyfriend. I am just starting to take on the guilt of hurting you so. I am healing and learning to be a good person early on in life, before it’s too late and I want you to know that you have inspired me. Along with my family and friends, you have made a difference. Although you may never see that difference, I just wanted to let you know that it happened. And I am very grateful for it.

Thank You,


P.S. In case you were wondering, as I'm sure you were, I sent you the poem because it was the only way that I could say some of the things that I needed to say. You mean a great deal to me, and I just wanted a chance to explain what really meant the most to me in our relationship. I was trying to convey not only that I am not a shallow person but also that I am deeply sorry for what happened and that it will affect me forever. I'm sorry if it may have upset you in any way. I just had to get it off my chest.


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