We have seen the passing of one of my personal heroes this week, Leonard Nimoy. To honor him, I watched the first five Star Trek movies. The funeral scene in Wrath of Khan made me cry, as did several of the other scenes related to death. I told my oldest that he was one of my heroes, and I realized he was. His views on life, both in and out of character, helped me through some dark times in my life. I mourn his passing.
I have already seen people speaking of him in Heaven, and some dismissing him as an atheist. From all of the information I can gather, he was a lifelong Jew. So, yes, he may be in Heaven, but he is not hanging out with Saint Peter. Sorry to dash your hopes of playing pinochle with him. To be honest, I don’t know if that was a game he liked or not. I could see him enjoying many different types of games. Maybe that is my own projection.
I’m sorry that it has been a long time since my last update. My heath has been an issue; I got a pretty severe head cold, and, with Multiple Sclerosis, it makes everything more complex. When the fever one is running makes it hard to move or think straight, blogging sometimes takes a hit. Thankfully, I survived it, although our finances have taken a hit, with my lovely wife having also been sick and having to take some time off. So, to cover some of my ongoing medical expenses, I have had to resort to a Gofundme fundraiser. Links are to the right.
Yesterday, I woke up and my right hand had gone all pins and needles. It is a new symptom, a departure from the slow decline of my left side, and something quite worrisome. It will probably take me some time to get used to the way my right hand feels now. My typing has slowed, and I am considering teaching myself touch typing with the new condition to improve my speed. Coding will be difficult, but I have too many projects to be slowed down by something silly like a disability.
I have had a lot of time to reflect on the situation with the person I will refer to as “Martin”. Not his real name, but, then again, he always hated his real name.
I would go into an extensive background, but I really don’t want to reveal who it is publicly. Let’s just say he was a good friend with whom I have recently had a pretty massive falling out, and with whom I no longer communicate. He is the closest male friend I have severed ties with as an adult, so, obviously, it has led to a lot of thought and reflection.
First, as I may have mentioned before, the reason he gave for being upset with me was over my inappropriate behavior with his ex-wife about a decade ago. If you really want to read a more detailed account, I wrote a post about it here.
I am not going to rehash that here. That’s not the point of what I am saying.
What I am thinking about now is what is motivating his actions in the here and now, given that he had given no indication that there was any sort of problem up until the moment everything went to hell.
So, here are some of my theories, based on what I know of him. Some of them may seem strange or trite to you, but, I assure you, to him, they may be important.
Reasons I think Martin may have severed our friendship of nearly two decades:
- He is trying to build an false professional image of himself that he thought I may not agree to support.
Support for this theory: After reading through his LinkedIn profile, I realized that nearly every project that we were both involved with he had inflated, either expanding to be larger and more grandiose, inflated his role in, or outright lied about. Even his basic timeline is a fabrication; he states he was in information technology before I met him, when I was the one who encouraged him to explore the field.
Oh, I get his motivation. He is very good at wagging the dog. He went from being a night watchman at a Dotcom to being a entry level developer by convincing the CEO to give him a shot, and he has been wheeling and dealing his way up since then. He also knows that, for the most part, I don’t do that kind of thing. I fudge a little here and there, but when it comes to massive deception, I shy away from it.
He is trying once again to build a family, and he thinks he needs a bankroll to do it. Regardless of whether or not he is right, he thinks I would not back him in his methodology.
Verdict: He’s probably right, but I would not have outed him publicly, merely advised him privately to tone it back, as I have in the past. And he would ignore me, as he has in the past. And no one would ask me to verify for him, as no one ever has.
- He is suffering financially, but trying to give the appearance that he is not. My disability and subsequent requests for donations were putting in between a rock and a hard place. He can’t help his best friend financially and had to choose between blowing the scheme wide open and being there for me.
Support for this theory: During his previous marriage, I watched him do some pretty silly things financially. His wife, who loved him, suffered through it as best as she could. She probably would have supported him until the end of time if other things had not happened.
That aside, his current claimed venture does not “smell” right. No web presence, not a hint of it anywhere online, not even other people talking about how they are working on it. When we worked together about fifteen years ago, a similar piece of vaporware cost us our jobs. At the time, my now ex-wife was pregnant.
Verdict: Simply put, it sounds of spin. He knows I would ruin the plan, so he cut ties before that could happen. I suppose I should thank him. I have enough problems.
- Simple cost benefit analysis. I’m disabled now, and the one thing I was good for that he could benefit from, being a code monkey, he feels he could no longer count of me for. The last project he tossed to me I had to bow out of because of my MS.
Support: He and I have worked together on a few projects. I’ve never been the glory hound, always been content to sit at a desk and code. Sure, I want a paycheck, but not even a particularly large one. He felt comfortable marketing my skills to his benefit. But now, my skills are, at best, unreliable. The last project was a test of this, and I failed.
So, dredging up the thing with his ex-wife was a handy way of disposing of the gimp, so to speak.
Verdict: I wouldn’t put it past him, but I truly hope this isn’t it. It means I have misjudged his character wildly over the past two decades.
- Disability makes him squeamish.
Support: From time to time, odd hangups would appear in his demeanor towards certain people. His social interactions would suddenly skew strangely. For example, when I introduced him to my high school girlfriend after several years of conversations about how bad an idea it had been for me to date her, after the dinner we had with her, as we were leaving the restaurant, he got extremely serious, and said, “Never put me in a room with that person ever again.”
The tone of his voice was frightening, like he was speaking about something he had found stuck to his shoe.
Could it be that he has prejudices against certain kinds of people? It’s possible. He was raised in a judgmental environment where one class of people were considered subhuman (He was partially raised in Israel as a Jew, and was taught to treat Israeli Arabs like crap).
Verdict: Again, I hope this is not the case. I hope better of him than this, but I wouldn’t put it past him at this point.
- He felt I did not support his creative endeavors.
Support: A few years ago, he wrote a book. I won’t go into details about it, again, don’t want to identify him. It was part of a larger fictional universe, one that was coming back into vogue at the time, and several other works overshadowed his attempt. There were a few things he did that were a bit… egotistical that probably put some readers off, but I will always support my friends’ creative endeavors. I still want to read the book.
Perhaps I did not show him enough support.
Verdict: I know what a heartbreak it is to not be supported by those closest to you. But, if anything, it is probably just an element, not a whole reason.
- My recent Marvel announcement.
Support: He is a HUGE comic book fan, and I really am not. Recently I decided to throw my hat into the ring with Marvel instead of DC. Sure, I like some of DC’s stuff, but, to be honest, I’ve been Marvel since pretty early, I just didn’t know it. I was a big fan of Spiderman when I was still wearing footy pajamas.
Perhaps his love for DC was enough to break the camel’s back, so to speak.
Verdict: I know this one sounds lame, but we live in a world where people kill for less.
Why can’t I just accept that he is pissed about his ex-wife, you might ask? Because, even for him, it doesn’t fit. He was glad to be rid of her (which I never really understood. She was a little hard to get along with, but she was a sweet person). After we discussed it when it happened, and resolved it, he didn’t mention it again until the blow up. Martin was not the kind of guy to sit on something like that. He just wasn’t. He did not hide his emotions well. At all. Ever. It was one of his better traits. You always knew where you stood with him.
The other aspect of it is that if he is still pissed about it means there is still part of him that wants to change what happens, which makes no sense. If he were single, and unhappy, sure, that would make sense. But he is married, has a wonderful kid, and, by all accounts, is deliriously happy. Unless #2 is true, and I was a handy pressure relief valve, in which case he can kiss my ass.
In the end, I have been a peacemaker for most of my life. Balancing my ex-wife, my ex-fiance, and my wife, and two kids, takes intestinal fortitude I didn’t know I had. But, I have MS now. I really don’t have the patience for this. Speculating on why he burned the bridge is merely an amusement. It does not rebuild the bridge nor make me want to ever be his friend again.
He is a part of my past, by his own choice.