The art of losing isn't hard to master, Ms. Bishop said. O, and friends, I have lost.
But a question remains: now what? The acrimonious loss of a friend seems so high school. Were that it felt so. It doesn't.
But when you lose the friend, you lose so much more than that. Suddenly, every tie becomes a spool of knotty thread. There are places, people, conversations to be avoided. There is news to break. What of the tone? How do I speak? What do I say?
Past actions must be inspected carefully. And there are always mistakes, moments to be taken back and filed away, or else elaborated beyond all recognition, perhaps the fodder for a dinner party joke some years hence, when all of this is over and forgotten. It's in the present, though, that the embarrassment and anger is most keenly felt, the rattletrap heart and the brittle fingers.
Some friends simply ebb away, others ram your head against the ice harder than the prow of a sinking ship.
I don't miss my friend, but I am sorry to have lost my idea of who he was.