Note to Self (39) When old acquaintances come back into your life

I wake up, and my first reaction is to grab my Blackberry to check how many emails and tweet posts I received overnight. I’m a technology freak, a virtual junkie who quickly loved my phone is if it was my lifeline. What’s ironic about it is that I use it more like a computer, not like a phone. I rarely talk to people. I write to them instead.

These words, that I really learned how to trace and shape with a hesitant hand at the age of 5, have become my world. I read, relentlessly, absorbing them like a drug, feeling their rush into my blood, dancing before my eyes as if the high could not come fast enough.

Today, I received an email from an acquaintance I haven’t talked to in years. Like at least 7 years. We went to law school together, did not get especially friendly until we participated in a Moot Court work group and after that, well we did not really keep in touch so I didn’t bother wondering what had become of her.

Suddenly, I read her words. Very quick and simple, a hello from Paris where she works now, and then a how are you? speak soon. bye. I don’t even know why she emailed me. Does she know I permanently moved to the United States? Did she hear I got married? Is she aware I’m working in a law firm in Manhattan?

I have no clue. The rush immediately stops as I polluted my brain with questions, seeking an agenda that I’m sure exist, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Nobody emails me after 7 years of silence if they don’t want something. That’s a fact. And I guess it is legitimate for me to ask myself these questions because, let’s be honest, I wasn’t born yesterday.

So here we are. This short email standing on my computer screen, my finger hesitantly moving back and forth between the “delete” button and the “respond later” inbox folder. I don’t know what to make of it. Is this girl important enough for me to stay in touch? Not really. Have I ever thought I would hear from her ever again? No. Do I want her to know everything about my life? No. Long distance friendships cannot last if there’s no friendship to start with.

I believe that her email was nice, and well intentioned, but that she also had a motive to write to me. So… I’m not going to respond yet. I’m going to wait. I need to make up my mind when it comes to this. I never look back at my past, ever, and the people I left behind often become very far memories that I tend to disregard after many years have passed. I can’t even remember her face.

Again, I could always be polite and reply to her. But what would I tell her? Lots has happened in 7 years and unless I start writing a biography now, I don’t really want to dwell on this part of my life. I mean, let’s be honest, at the time we met, I was a mess, looking for every opportunity to leave France, wondering whether I should drop out of law school and become a hairdresser instead. I was having a virtual relationship with some crazy person in Texas and I was fighting demons I did not know how to defeat while trying to fit in a world that never wanted me in the first place. I felt awkward, with my first tattoos and my piercings, my head full of ideas and my rebellious side wanting to break free, while trying to really understand what my real purpose on this earth was. Not so long before we met, I was burning my arm with cigarette butts, attempting to overcome my emotional pain by subjecting myself to horrible physical pain. I am serious here. I was a mess. I probably still am one, but at least now, I got it under control and I know better what I want from life.

I did not think I would reminisce about this dark period of my past. My evil self wanted out, consuming my soul in a world of constant struggle, inviting me to a never ending celebration of pain. It took me a while to get hold of it, transform it into what it has become today, undoubtedly a great source of inspiration. I’m not done with it yet. I will never defeat it, and no matter how hard I try, I don’t even want to get rid of it. I love my pain, it grew with me and burned my heart so many times, we’ve become inseparable. Like any good friendship, however, it is now my greatest companion, my muse, the reflection of myself in the darkest and brightest moments.

I’ve grown so much, I don’t know if it will ever be worth getting back in touch with this girl. She never struck me as being a tortured spirit. So should I email her back?

I really don’t know.

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