I wake up thinking: the worst response is no response. At first I’m not thinking about anything in particular. Then I’m thinking about the publishing industry standard: no response means no, right? Because it’s so hard just to say that: no. Even with people you know, or kind of know, and then suddenly no response. Sometimes people are flaky or rushed, but most of the time I think it’s about power. I actually love it when I get a rejection letter: someone actually cares enough to say no! Maybe love is too strong a word here, but I know that there are people who I’ve asked for blurbs, who have said no, and then I actually liked them better than before. Certainly much better than the ones who never reply. Or, even worse, the ones who say yes, and then you never hear from them again.
Then I’m thinking about my closest friend of 16 years who stopped talking to me without telling me. People keep thinking he was my lover, even though I don’t use the word lover. I guess I say relationship, people think lover is what relationship means. We were in love, but we weren’t lovers, which is the type of relationship I’ve mostly striven for: I thought we had permanence. And then I confronted him about something he asked me to confront him about, told me he was ready, I didn’t have to hold it in anymore, I was so ready, he was not: our relationship was over. We had spent so long holding one another, crafting these ideals of intimacy through disclosure, trust through shared struggles, negotiation through hard times. I knew he was moving away from these ideals, but I didn’t realize he was also moving away from me. Or, I realized it, but I didn’t realize it was permanent. Not the permanence I was looking for.