There’s this new show on Bravo called Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Griffin has made most of her fame as a standup comic, telling stories about her experiences with famous A-Listers. She played a similar role in a classic episode of Seinfeld and it’s fun to watch her new routines, since now everyone knows who she is and what she does. She has to maintain relationships with people like Oprah Winfrey, but if she doesn’t get nasty, her act loses its edge.
The show is one of those celebrity follow-arounds and isn’t as funny as her stand-up, but she’s got such charisma and wit that it’s tough not to be engaged. I count myself a fan.
So, I mentioned some time ago that since R came back from her trip with Mr. HBA, she had been strangely friendly, actually returning calls. She still wasn’t calling me to talk, and she certainly wasn’t calling out of any kind of interest in my life, but at least she was calling me to answer whatever question I’d left on her phone. A couple of times, she actually answered the phone when I called. That was bizarre.
That seems to have worn off. I called her a little more than a week ago to tell her about this mutual friend of ours who’s having a problem. I was basically telling her because I thought she’d want to know, and because I thought there was a small, small chance there might be something she could do for him. She called me back while I was in a meeting, saying in my voicemail that she was furious about this person’s problem. That . . . was suprising. I guess since she seems not to care much about me anymore, I assumed she doesn’t care much about anyone, but when I called her back, we had a really good conversation about what we might do for this friend.
I called her a couple of days later — last Saturday — to get an update from her about one of the things we talked about that might have something to do with this friend. Basically, it was, “Hey, let me know how things went yesterday with ______________.”
This is how pathetic I am. I thought she’d call me Sunday, and when she didn’t, I thought for sure it would be Monday. When it was clear she wasn’t calling Monday, I began to take a strange pleasure in knowing how unimportant my call was. I mean, I’d carry my phone everywhere, checking it all the time, just to prove to myself that she wasn’t going to call me. Then I tried to figure out how many days I could wait before calling her again to (a) ask her about how things went because I really want to know and (b) make her aware that I totally know where I’ve sunk to in her life.
I mean, this is someone who, just a few months ago, would at least call me to tell me she couldn’t talk. I’m not saying I expect her to call and say goodnight before she goes to bed, as she might have done a couple of years ago, but now I don’t even get a callback about something important five days later! You know, there’s just nothing to think about this except that either she’s sick or injured, or that she’s willfully hurting me. Does she so want me to get over her that she’s willing to just drop any pretense of friendship and force me to find someone else to talk to? Or is she just that certain that our friendship, which has withstood similar treatment in the past, will survive this? I think that if what she’s doing is for what she considers my own good, the least she could do is tell me.
I guess the other possibility is that she needs to focus on this relationship with Mr. HBA and our friendship gets in the way of that, but she could tell me that, too.
I’m depressed. I can live with the fact that she will never love me again the way she did, and as anyone who reads this knows, I’m struggling with figuring out what to do about that, but not being her friend anymore does not figure into that equation. That I cannot handle.
You know what I wonder? I wonder if she’s even thinking about me. Does she ever, ever, ever wonder what I’m up to, or what I’m doing, or how my new school year is going? Or are my occasional phone messages the only memory prompts reminding her that I’m still out here, still thinking about her? Does she just say, “Hm. Mitchell called again?” or does she say, “Oh, man. When am I going to find time to return this call? I’m so busy?”
When I get really, really miserable, as I am right now, I allow myself to think this: I wonder if they’re laughing at me. That loser. Can’t he take a hint? Why does he think he’s still any kind of part of our lives anymore?
And when I get really, really, really miserable, I wonder if my friends, too, are thinking that. Hey. Mr. HBA won. Mitchell lost. Why does he keep insisting on trying to be part of our lives? He doesn’t teach with us, he doesn’t hang out with us, and none of us returns his calls. He lost. Why doesn’t he just find someone else to bother?
Are they laughing at me, too? Or, worse, are they pitying me, that poor slob who’s up at four in the morning, miserable because of one lousy unanswered phone call that R probably doesn’t even remember getting?
You know, even if all that were going on, I could handle it if she’d just keep being my friend.
Then again, why would she want to be my friend? I dislike the most important person in her life and vocally disapprove of her relationship with him. Is my dislike for him causing her to dislike me? If so, the least she could do is tell me. I told her, after all.