Let’s say I have this friend. We’ll call him Dwayne.
Dwayne and I have this routine. Every night at 6 o’clock Dwayne comes over to the house for a chat. We talk about all sort of things: local events, world issues, the weather.
We’ve been doing this for years, and it’s one of my favourite parts of the day. As far as I know, Dwayne has always felt the same way. Indeed Dwayne and I have what I’ve always thought to be one of the stronger friendships around.
Suddenly, at the beginning of this week, Dwayne goes a little weird on me. Says we’ve gotta start getting together at 5 o’clock instead of 6 o’clock. And we can’t really talk about things so deeply any more, he warns me; gotta keep it light, breezy.
Or maybe we can talk about serious things later. Like he’ll say “I heard about this crazy thing that happened downtown this morning. Tell you about it later.” It’s very off-putting.
To make matters worse, at 5:30 Dwayne suddenly gets up to leave, and this other guy, a guy I don’t know named Maurice, from New Brunswick, shows up. Tries to go all Dwayne on me, but in a way that makes it clear he’s got no idea about Dwayne, or about me.
Just as I’m getting over this whole Maurice thing, at 6 o’clock Dwayne’s back, and wants to rehash everything we talked about at 5 o’clock, but now he’s all serious and deep again. Except he wants to talk about the weather too.
Needless to say, my once close relationship with Dwayne is getting strained. I feel like I don’t know him any more. I feel like he’s at the mercy of forces beyond his control.
It may be over for me and Dwayne. Which is really sad. Because, like I said, my daily time with Dwayne has always been one of the highlights of my day.