Berkeley, July 29

A dear friend called today and rather than answer the phone, I let it go to voicemail. Sometimes it’s too difficult to pretend that everything is okay and that I’m okay and fake cheerfulness.

I just “can’t” with her sometimes. I know that makes me an asshole, but there it is.

After 9 years of friendship, I should be grateful and a better friend to her. Especially for how lonely it is out here; a Midwestern ex-pat. My therapist would say I’m “shoulding” all over myself and he’d be right, but still. Sometimes “should” ought to, in fact, be reality. Even if my heart is lagging.

How long is too long before I call her back? Before I put on my “face” and pretend that California is all I’d hoped it would be?