about john

the world makes me so tired some days.

i spent all afternoon stalking around thinking about how most of the inspiring, motivational things written for women have been sponsored by maxi-pad companies, and products.  i watched/read a lot of internet stories about dogs and death.

i’m talking to john. john is this friend that i have that is popular on twitter. he used to be moreso before his break up with his ex-girlfriend went horribly wrong. john is a kind of nervous, anxious fellow, and twittering would be a good example for a word that i would use to describe the way his body trembles sometimes. when he wants to smoke.  he smokes and sometimes reeks of cigarettes.  he jumps a little like  a startled rabbit.

he’s soulful. he thinks deeply and too much all the time. it can be amazing and it can be tiring and it can be hard on him and everyone else. he compliments everyone sincerely. he appreciates people sincerely.  he explodes with ideas and anxiety and self hatred and excitement and creativity.  i’ve seen him at his job and been in awe of the music he makes with jenny and how she changes when she’s involved in it. she comes out of her shell, sheds her shyness and sometimes almost shouts and invigorates. they play endless amounts of looping travelling music and it soothes.

i’ve known him since i started school and just a little bit before. i know him like a lot of people do through twitter. i wrote to him, met him and hung out with him on campus.  he never sent me nude pics, never propositioned me, never asked me anything inappropriate.

we’ve fought. fought about the way he will describe my glasses as intimidating, which was short hand for saying that he didn’t like them is what i thought. had a long road trip where we fought most of the way there. i’m old and cranky, he’s young and exuberant.  i think he can be irrational, and he thinks i can be too mean. it’s probably true.

he’s had several difficult relationships with women in the time i’ve known him.  he’s certainly no calculating Lothario.  every time he got into a relationship he’d tell me he was sure his girlfriend wanted to leave, why was she being so mean?

i remember  when he told me about a certain lady who became too demanding of his time right away. he wanted to back off. he seemed scared when she demanded “where the fuck have you been?” told him she was going to destroy him on the internet

i told him to find someone at school. he said he had found a great lady.  they were very happy for a couple of weeks. he used to ask me “what’s going to happen if we get into a fight?” then they fought. fought a lot about what i considered politics, but to them it was everything the world meant. i met her. she was beautiful and self effacing. i was happy for john.  she seemed funny, she seemed bright, she seemed almost as nervous as him.  i spent time with her.  then they broke up.

john said they had a nice meal together at a diner and then afterwards she unexpectedly left him in the street, and just laughed and walked away, without saying anything.

i tried to encourage him to leave her alone. he did for the most part.  he couldn’t let go. he said he wanted his book back, it seemed deeper than that to me.

i didn’t unfollow his ex-girlfriend. i had no idea what actually happened. i just i didn’t know.  it wasn’t until the accusations against him started being rallied around the internet that i unfollowed them.

she posted his text messages.  at this point i felt it was somehow wrong. to share personal messages someone had sent to you on the internet. maybe that’s just my old school style but i hated it. i followed both of the ladies who have spoken out against john without any judgement, even considering the idea that they had their right to their feelings about the way he treated them.  i tagged out when one lady said she wanted to destroy him and the other i just lost interest in what she was posting. i didn’t want to have to be in the center of a huge internet controversy about someone’s personal life. or know anything about it.

but i would never consider abandoning john as a friend.  he’s a real friend to me. who would show up in the middle of the night when i was feeling upset. buy me a coffee when i was feeling down. talking to me all night about my problems and just show up.  and he’s never tried once to do anything inappropriate to me or near me. i’d eat him alive for it.

john is a sweet ,talented friend, a good and caring person and maybe sometimes a troubled guy. he suffers the doubts a lot of us do. he’s afraid and hyper-excited and all of the energies he puts into his tweets kind of jitters around in a nervous man, released in these smooth tones with an occasional trembling tell.

i don’t feel any less of a person or feminist for calling him my friend.  i don’t feel like i should have abandoned him to join the internet sensationalism that was calling him awful, because i know him in real life.  and certainly you can’t ever know what your friend is doing in their relationship with someone else. but i know what my relationship to john has been and i would defend the value of that to anyone.




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