turning the tables

do you sometimes wonder how advice to other people flows so easily off your tongue yet you have a hard time taking it to heart, and putting it to your own good use? A friend of mine is breaking things off with his girlfriend-of-sorts tonight, and I've been giving him "going through a breakup" advice - how to occupy yourself so you don't answer the phone when they call (call me! eat ice cream! count marbles!), how to avoid calling her, even when you've got that *urge* to just hear the sound of her voice, how to not sleep with her, just one last time, even if in your delusional breakup state it sounds like it might be a good and innocent idea. How if you do, you can't spend the night, you need to get up and close the door without saying goodbye, without being sad, without lingering outside long enough for her to realize that you're still standing there and call you back. How to let go when you care, but you know it's for the best. He calls me for this stuff because he knows I'm going to tell him the things he needs to but doesn't want to hear. This past week, as we've been talking about how to make him feel better, about how to get him out of the "someone I care about has to be out of my life" funk, I've been seeing reflections of myself in the words that I'm saying. Like how the last thing you should do when a long relationship ends is try to be friends right away. SO bad. You can't be friends when at least one of you still loves (or is in love with) the other one, because the "in love" one is somewhere secretly hoping that it's going ot work out in the end. It's fundamentally impossible. Like how if you do it's just going to result in a lot more crying on someone's part, a lot more of somebody else feeling bad, and maybe, a little bit of bad-idea-post-breakup-shagging. I wish I had known this stuff, intuitively, so I could have prevented myself from repeatedly stepping off a cliff-ledge, over and over again, relationship after relationship.

It's times like these when I also feel like I've managed to learn something from my experiences, from heartbreak, from good relationships, from watching my friends agonize over people who are probably not worth the agony they cause except for that one moment in time. Times like this when I feel lucky to have learned these things - but also sad, since i know that the odds are that if my heart ever gets broken again, all of this good advice is probably going to get lost in the shuffle, even if it's only temporarily buried.

I need to tape these phone conversations.