Monday, 13 April 2009

Journal: Semana Santa, Part Two

Back home, and I'm feeling tired and ready to go back to what has become normality, here, and not for the right reasons. As you'll read, below, I've probably lost two friendships in one fell swoop, and I don't know if I can ever get them back. If ever we do become friends, again, things will probably not be the same, anyway, which makes me wonder if I deserve to get them back...

Day 5 – Friday 10th April

Well, I fucked it up, today. Apologies for the strong opening, but there’s no other way to explain it. Firstly, I spent the entire day indoors, moping and generally feeling empty, useless and sorry for myself (it happens, sometimes). Next, after a right royal cock-up on my part, I managed to walk around the entire Alhambra twice, looking for the others but not finding them. They were left sitting in a restaurant until they were asked to leave, and thought I hadn’t even bothered to find them. So, in the end, we didn’t go to the Alhambra, even though I had bought us tickets, and I’ve managed to make myself the bad guy by not being attentive enough. Way to go, Sanya...

Day 6 – Saturday 11th April

So, if I fucked it up, yesterday, I have majorly – possibly irreparably – ruined things, today. Put simply, this may actually be the end of my friendship with these people; and all because I have no discipline.

After being partially forgiven for what was essentially the fault of no one and nothing but bad luck, yesterday evening was tense, but warmed up over the course of the evening. We ate in an empty bar, discussed what we had done – or rather, Sophie and James told me what they had done, since I had no story worth telling. I had been expecting more friends from university, who by chance had decided to visit Granada at more or less the same time as we would be there, and so I went out that evening to meet them. Sophie and James decided not to come along, since they were tired, and didn’t want to miss the bus in the morning because of a hangover. I, on the other hand, was far too concerned with going out, enjoying myself (i.e., getting drunk and disorderly) and being with people I hadn’t seen in nearly a year to bear in mind that I would have to catch an early bus for a long journey the next morning.

The night itself started off well. I finished off an entire bottle of wine to myself, and I should have left it there. Instead, after moving on from the meeting point to someone’s house, I began to start mixing my drinks. From there, it all goes hazy and downhill. I remember ending up in a club, being sick in the toilet, being thrown out and kicked (so I’m told) in the back by the bouncers, calling the police and speaking to them about it, before heading to the house of someone I barely know to sleep. I’m told I was so drunk I couldn’t even remember where we were, nor I could I work out how to get back to the hostel; I can well believe it, since I know I had a map of Granada in the inside pocket of my jacket. Unsurprisingly, I overslept, and woke up to find a stream of calls and a text saying “Somebody had better have died, Sanya.” I wish I had. When I got back to the hostel, I received a well-deserved bollocking from Sophie, and the two of them left. That was the last time I saw them, and I now have no idea where they are, or what they’ve decided to do. I feel so ashamed of myself, and angry at having let them down so much and so many times. As Sophie rightly pointed out, this is not the first time I’ve fucked her over during the holiday, and it wasn’t the first time I’d fucked her over during our entire friendship. Right now, I have a feeling things may be over, for the time being. I’ve already decided to get in contact with the two of them, after Tuesday, and insist I reimburse them the trouble they will have gone to. I know the fault lies with my lack of discipline, and that it is not a money issue, but as far as I’m concerned the least I can do is foot the bill for what was solely my fault. As far as our friendship is concerned, it’s probably best I keep away from them for a while, if nothing else, to allow them both time to recover from it all.

Right now, I’m in Motril, near Granada, with my friend Virginia, who has kindly offered me a bed for the next two nights. On Monday morning I catch the bus back to Madrid, from where I’ll be able to try and begin arranging things. I feel just awful, and I don’t even know what to say to them or do next. Of course, this whole episode should serve as a lesson, but one I should have already learnt a very long time ago, and which makes me think that maybe I’m not as good a person as I’d always hoped to be. Anyway, there is little else to say, now, so I might as well wrap this up.

Day 7 – Sunday 12th April

All I’ve been doing, today, is thinking about what I’ve done, or telling people about it. I can’t really shake this feeling of shame and anger at myself, and I don’t really deserve anything else. I am worried about Sophie and James, but as she told me on the phone, when I tried to find them, she can handle herself, she survived in South America without me, and she doesn’t fuck things up. Nevertheless, I still wonder if they did manage to find something, and where they are, now.

It isn’t really just that I was serving as translator and something of a guide which makes me feel so bad (even though, of course, their semi-dependency has a major role), but more that they had relied on me to deal with the internal travel arrangements, and some of the touristic plans. I bought the bus tickets a week and a half before they arrived; I nearly made us miss the first bus; I left it too late to buy the Alhambra tickets and only managed to get a supplementary tour of the gardens, which I then made us miss; and because I got pissed in a club, we missed the third bus, effectively ruining the holiday completely. I had already seriously compromised it, before it had begun, but to completely destroy it – and abuse the trust Sophie and James had in me – is what really shocks and hurts me most. I keep on writing about how angry and ashamed I feel. That’s because it’s true: those people are two of my best friends. If I can’t treat them with the basic respect they deserve, then who else can expect it of me?

I’m actually so fed up of the whole thing, I just want to go back to my house in Madrid, and start trying to make things right. I know it will take a long time, and that it may mean we are never as close, but I would feel at least like I was attempting to prove how sorry I am for it all. And to those of you who are thinking: “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill, stop exaggerating!” just imagine me doing it to you, and how angry you would be with me. And then imagine yourself doing it to your best friends, and how angry and ashamed of yourself you would feel. I’ll leave it there.

Day 8 – Monday 8th April

I’ve been sitting in my house for the past half an hour, now, just thinking about how much I’ve wrecked things. My friends – my best friends – came all the way out here, after planning for four months what we’d do and where we’d go, to effectively see me. What do I do? In short, make them hate me; spit in their eyes and laugh at them for being stupid enough to care about me. Or that’s how it must seem. The truth is, I do care for them both very deeply; as the time for their visit drew nearer, I was becoming more and more excited at the prospect of seeing them again. The first half of the holiday, though not exactly successful, was at least fun and relatively smooth, barring mistakes made by myself which ultimately led to the failure of the last four days.

That is, in fact, the best word to describe what I have done: I’ve failed. I’ve failed my friends, by being stupid, careless and selfish; I’ve failed myself, by not showing enough discipline; and I’ve failed at maintaining another close relationship, because I couldn’t be bothered to consider anyone but myself, throughout. I know I seem repetitive, but the same thoughts keep circulating; and, of course, the more I think about it, the worse I feel. Ironically, people have told me it will be solved by time, and my proving that I have learnt my lesson, but I don’t know if I it can be. Ten-year friendships don’t just end on a whim, and are likely to have been through quite a bit of turbulence at various points – believe me, we’ve all been through so much together – so anything which threatens to end it must be significant. Which must mean that maybe this is too deeply-ingrained for me to ever be able to overcome: perhaps it is too late for me to change personality, and therefore, perhaps I don’t ever deserve to ever be forgiven for all of the shit I have dumped on Sophie especially, over our friendship.

The truth is I don’t know what to do. I know what I can do right now, and in the near future, as I’ve already explained, but after that my mind draws a blank. How can I ever even think to expect any of the privileges of friendship, after this? When I say privileges, I don’t mean anything superficial, I’m talking about the closeness, the honesty and trust, not to mention the love – the genuine love – I know I feel for them. Is this what it feels like to hurt someone you love? If so, I never want to do it again. Are those my only motives for not wanting to hurt people: because it makes me feel bad? If that is the case, maybe I should keep away from building up any close relationships, and not allow anyone to care for me.

I had been hoping to end this journal on a bittersweet note: having spent a week with Sophie and James, and coming to the end of the time we had before returning to our current normal lives. Instead, it just feels bitter. I don’t know. I just don’t know, anymore.


  1. Well, hopefully all is not lost. Great friendships go beyond fucked-up vacations or such other things, and they will accept you as you are. Obviously there are qualities in you that they love, or you guys wouldn't be friends for over 10 years. Some people don't even stay married that long!

    Perhaps next time you can arrange a more relaxed schedule, to give yourself (and them) time to recover from any possible mishaps and/or misfortunate events along the way.

    Remind me to make my own schedule whenever I visit London and not depend on your schedule. :)

    Cheer up!

  2. Thank you, Dusty. I'm pretty sure it's theend of our friendship, but that's a consequence I will just have to live with. I'm taking the experience and learning from it by trying to be more responsible for myself before taking on responsability for others.

    Anyway, judging by your experiences, I'm not the only one who had his holiday end abruptly...

  3. Well Sanya, I can't think of you as a bad person, it is just true you made a too busy schedule that tired you up, instead of giving you the deserved rest you needed. Lack of communication with yourself was a big mistake, as it seems you had planned the holidays for them, and not for you. This of course ended up mixed with more than a bit of alcohol and well, you know the end of story.

    Trust friendship and let them have time to miss you, hopefully you all three will get over it, meet soon and talk it through. I wish it.

    I still owe you a night at the cinema.