Fool Me Twice

Let’s talk about betrayal.
This may be an oversimplification, but I believe that our sense of betrayal comes from our high expectations of others. I was recently reading an article that echoed my thoughts on the topic. The author says, “Most friendships fail because of high expectations. It’s simple: Let go of the expectations, improve your friendship.” I don’t know if it’s as simple as all that, but the underlying message is clear: when we set a standard for someone, they will (almost inevitably) not meet that standard. And when that happens, they lose status in our eyes, fights happen, friendships break up (one of the most painful things, in my experience). I have tons more to say about this, but I’ll save it for a rainy day. The sun is shining like it’s got something to prove, today.

I wrote this poem in a moment where I felt betrayed by a friend that I loved dearly. Later, after a lot of thought (more than the little paragraph above), I realized that those feelings (while justified) could have been directed in a more constructive way. Perhaps instead of writing dramatic poems, I could have picked up the phone and had a difficult conversation.

It’s hard to remember sometimes
why I was so angry with you
why you pushed me away
forcing me to protect myself.
Simple kindnesses wouldn’t suffice
I suppose my lifestyle isn’t as
decadent as yours, I suppose some might say
“I’m broke.”
But money and its ease were never my focus.
I learned to love
and to trust
and to be human
without it – so when I don’t have it – I have
you.
I had you.
But my lifestyle isn’t as paved as yours,
and it’s not your fault – you were raised that way –
but perhaps that’s why you resented
driving my “broke ass” around.
I cried over you, once. Just once.
I could not allow myself more, certain that
we could reconcile.
It’s important to remember, though,
now that time has passed and the human
mind is so inclined
to think of all the good times. The laughter.
Do not forget when
someone hurts you
because – if you let them near – they might
do it again and
what’s worse than being fooled once?

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