Also published at Substack.
Many of my fans know that I have been hanging on by a thread financially for some years. Most of that is my fault, but what I rarely mention is that a small but significant part of it was due to being stabbed in the back financially by a former friend who I helped when I had the means to do so. On that front, something interesting happened yesterday.
Since I returned to writing, I’ve been diligent at using all the social media platforms at my disposal for promotion. That has borne a good deal of fruit and I will continue to write and to promote.
As I said, a good deal of fruit, including the unexpected: the former friend was exposed.
All who use LinkedIn know that it has an interesting feature: users can see some of the people who have recently looked at their profile and, three weeks ago, the person in question looked at mine. It is the first nearly unshakable proof I’ve had of his continued earthly existence since 2014. He’s good at hiding, but not perfect.
So, I sent him a note, letting him know that I forgive him unconditionally but, of course, not offering restoration of the friendship – something not required and, most certainly, not desired.
Additionally, I sent him a link to my PayPal account in case he wants to ease his conscience by paying me back. Though I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have a conscience -- no longer my problem -- I do believe in miracles.
All of that is preamble to a post I shared at my blog back in 2015 when the wound was still fresh. See what you think.
November 2, 2015
I am a fool. Or maybe it’s just that I believe in helping a friend when he/she asks -- just as many of you believe. When we do this, gratitude and communication are usually enough payback -- unless specifics are promised. Then, if unforeseen occurs and the payback can't happen, talk to me and tell me what's happening! Shit happens; that I know.
With one person, what happened to me is quite different; and I let it happen and didn't want to talk about it because of embarrassment. Well, this morning I'm purple-faced with rage, and the rage has wiped the embarrassment clean away.
For me, it’s like this: you get chance, after chance, after chance for a long time. Then when I’m done taking your crap, it’s over. And I might kick you on the way out -- especially if you have kicked me.
One person has.
I’ve told this story to several people. However, the reason I’m putting it out to the public was this morning’s incredible arrogance.
I what I thought was a friend since 2009. He is a construction worker, and he did a lot of work on my old house. We also helped each other out when needed. We were nothing but friends. And he is a Christian – or so he said.
Back in 2012, when I bought a car -- a 2007 PT Cruiser -- for straight cash, this guy went with me to pick it out. When his truck was repossessed, I would let him borrow the car for work. Finally, when he and his roommate were about to be evicted from their apartment, he asked me to take a loan out on my car to help with a month’s rent. Foolishly, I did.
I had an inkling that I might lose my house, but I had taken comfort that, under those circumstances, I would have my car to get where I needed to go, and, if need be, to sleep in. More than once, I told this to my so-called friend before I took out the loan. He assured me that he would pay it back and he also admonished me for repeating my concerns.
He paid the loan back for several months (it wasn’t the only loan I made to him). Then, in June 2014 he disappeared, and I haven’t heard from him since then, though I’ve sent many emails to him. I lost my car the following month. [Ed. note 2022: the loss of my vehicle was indirectly responsible for me losing most of my material possessions which were in storage.]
Since the repossession of the car, I have corresponded three times with the roommate – a woman -- which is how I know that the “friend” is not dead. For a year, I kept my mouth shut to her about the car, but I got tired of no one being considerate enough to merely communicate or pass along a message. (Dealing with long public transportation commutes has not helped my mood either.) So, I told her what happened. That was this year [sic], a few months back.
Then, this morning, after I emailed the roommate to ask if our mutual acquaintance was still alive, I received this:
Yes. He doesn't want to hear from you anymore. Please don't email me.
Thousands of dollars—and I still owe some money on the car. And these people know that I was in a homeless facility for months.
Worse than lack of communication is the incredible – psychopathology -- displayed above. And then there's . The "man" can't even tell me this himself.
__________, born 4/29/1965, you are a piece of shit -- a liar, a thief, and a coward. You don’t like what I say here? Sue me or have me killed. I don’t give a damn.
God will surely contact you. Enjoy.
Originally, I published the post with the name of the man. But a few days later, I deleted it – not because I was afraid of getting sued or killed, but because I am commanded by God to not seek vengeance on those who do me wrong. Also, I have real friends with connections reading this who might enjoy making this guy pay — one way or another.
My stint with homelessness was mercifully short and, though I lost several sentimental possessions, God has restored my life by providing two very essential things: faith and peace. I’m moving forward.