When you have a personality like mine, let’s face it, you don’t always make friends. I like to think I make the right friends. With the lockdown last year, I had time to reflect. I decided I’m no saint and while I had the time, I should do some reaching out.
It all started with the video project we did at Albany Poets. Not knowing how long things were going to last and losing touch with other poets, it kept me busy and connected. Me begging poets to send videos made sure, at the very least, I brushed my teeth every morning. Sometimes, I would do my hair. Sometimes. As the video entries started to slow down, I began to think of people from the “olden days”. I thought of a couple of folks and I had to think long and hard. Was I a total douche to them back in the day? The answer for each of the folks was an absolute YES. I was young, cute, mouthy, and very arrogant. So arrogant. Not for nothing, sometimes I could back up my arrogance, sometimes not. It is the “not” part that fucks me up. Being the fragile human that I am, I started reaching out to the poets with the line, “I don’t know if you will remember me…”. Oh yeah, they remembered. Most said “of course I remember you.” Then I would explain the project and if they could send me a video of them reading a poem. Most said ok. That’s where I had to swallow shit pills. The thank you texts/emails went something like this:
“Thank you so much for sending the videos. I’m really glad we reconnected and I want to say how sorry I am if I was ever mean or an asshole to you. I was a jackass back then and am slightly less of a jackass now. Again, I am sorry.”
About 90% of the poets I reached out to were cool. Some were passive-aggressive and would say things like, “I never took you seriously anyway.” and “I’m glad, for your sake, you’ve changed.” Trust me, I had a lot of that coming. I was a nightmare. I’m more of a night terror now, mainly because I’m too tired to give a shit.
These apologies were not limited to poets. There were old high school friends and co-workers from the wild days. Being stuck inside my house for weeks on end forced me to look at things differently and to take a break from petty bullshit. It recently ended since The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Sister Wives are airing new seasons. I love petty bullshit when it isn’t my own.
If you were a stop on my apology tour, please know from the bottom of my broken, black heart that the apology was sincere. If you didn’t get an apology from me, one may be coming. Or not. Depends. The tour bus doesn’t stop in every town.