Anyone at all.
I pick up the phone. Dial. The person picks up and says they're available...
But then something comes up at the last minute. They get sick, something happens with the family. They have a paper they need to do. It's an excuse that could very well be a valid one.
If it happened once or twice perhaps, but not every time I pick up the phone. Not every time I want to do something with a friend. Not every time I have something planned out that I need you for, and now that you've bailed on me, I'm stuck because there's not enough time for me to call someone else to take the place of you. There's not even enough time to grab a cab to get there, and now those who were depending on me to be there will be thrown out of their own schedules because you bailed on me, and those who *Could* have picked me up can't; they're already there.
Now I have to call around to see whether or not I can have someone else do the thing I was supposed to do because I can't be there to do it. Do you realize what this does to us? Do you realize what sort of a monkey wrench this throws at us? It isn't just me this affects; it's those who were expecting me to be there for my part in things. It's a ripple effect here.
We trust you to mean what you say. To say what you mean. We trust you to be there for us through anything. Hell some of us even trust you with our lives. You do help guide us, after all. You help keep us safe by keeping us away from poles, away from curbs, away from dangers that we can't see, but you can. We trust you with our plans because sometimes our plans depend on you. You are our friends, or...are you really?
Or is that refrain up there just another empty gesture. Another group of words that mean nothing but a promise that you will never keep; a word broken; discarded like so many other words you say.
Discarded, that's how it makes us feel when you bail on us. It makes us feel as if we are an inconvenience to you. An inconvenience to the world at large. It reenforces the burden complex in some of us: The thing that says that we shouldn't even try to ask for help because we'll be imposing on the person, and then that person will have to be responsible for us, burdened with us. They will be held back by us.
It isn't just nonverbal gestures that are empty; words can be just as much an empty, hollow bone as a visual. If not even more so. For words for some of us, are just as important as your visual gestures, for that is what our world is comprised of. Words and their meanings, words and their inflections, their tone and sincerety. Words are their own gestures of a person's character and intentions and hopes and fears. Pictures may tell a thousand words, but the inflections of your words tell us a thousand feelings, a thousand thoughts...
We trust you, we need you. Please, don't jade us with your empty words and seeming lack of regard for our feelings; we hurt just as much as you do when this happens. It is just as much a betrayal to us as it is for you.
We scream and rage just as much as you do when a friend doesn't do as they say, when they say it.
If you don't like friends bailing on you, why, then would you do it to us?
Empty gestures come in all forms. Those of us who can't see run up against our fair share of them too. People who run the other way while making it look as if they're not is a common complaint for us, and it frustrates us.
Are we really that much of an inconvenience to those around us? What is it about us that makes others want to not do as they say? Is it because you have to go out of your way to include us? Is it because we're a "burden" to you? How often do you stop to pick up one of your other friends when they don't have a car? What makes us so different than they are? Is it because it's permanent with us, and not for them? Is it because you don't know how to act around us? Is it because you're afraid of us? Afraid you'll catch what we have? Afraid of hurting our sensibilities or our feelings by asking, "Hey, you need a ride? I'm happy to give you one." Let me eas that fear: We're just like you. Only our eyes don't work. We have our smart, our dumb, our ignorat, our downright nasty, just like you do. We have our geeks, our nirds, our jerks and assholes, the same as the rest of you. We're no different that way. It's just that we do things differently than you do, we depend on others in certain ways more than you do.
Why oh why are there so many that throw empty promises at us...ones that they perhaps never intended to see through? Why is it that we are made to feel discarded, even if it wasn't the original intention?
Empty gestures, empty words. Empty promises. Many times in our lives we have had these. Often times we don't say much about them because they happen to us time and time again, and we are afraid of driving those who know away from us by our bitching. We are afraid that the next time, it'll be someone who *did* have a valid excuse we smack down, and then we feel guilty for doing so, and have to appologize for our own lack of courtesy to someone who *was* truly in a bad place. A vicious circle this is.
Which is why when we find a friend who is willing to go out of their way for us, whether it be online or in real life, we rejoice and celebrate because there is finally, finally, someone who sees us as people beyond our blindness. Someone who sees the blindness as a *part* of us; not the *hole* of who and what we are. Someone who understands, and isn't afraid they'll catch the blindness. Someone who appreciates us for our personality. Someone who sees past the blindness to who we are inside. Someone who will be honest with us, and isn't afraid of hurting us with the truth of their words, or their actions.
This is my entry for week one of therealljidol. Thank you for reading.