I had planned to make a throwaway account on reddit and post this to r/offmychest or something. I'm wary of putting too much of myself around, and writing this sort of thing generally makes me uncomfortable.
This is just a rant. Writing is what I do, stream of consciousness writing makes me feel like I'm levitating above my head. I've never done drugs, but it's what I imagine being high must feel like.
I've mentioned a friend before a few times here and there, the same one I talked about in the military post. There's been a lot of awkward between us over the years, mostly caused by my feelings for him. But ultimately, I've always thought he was more or less okay with that (mostly because he came 250 miles away with me 7 months after I told him, and convinced me to come out).
I gave up hope of any relationship the night I told him, I was more than happy to have him still being my friend - after all, I'd always assumed he'd hate me (that assumption based on where I live, how I've seen the one or two other gay guys I know here treated, and an overall extreme sense of self-loathing). Sometimes there are dreams or whatever, but that stays there, and I know they stay there. After all, I've always liked him for who he is, and that's not who he is.
About seven months after I told him, he and I returned to Chicago (we spent the day there before I told him that night). I'd since moved there. He came up to stay with me for the week of New Years. We went to a Bear's game, had (and didn't like) Chicago style pizza, went to Lincoln Park Zoo on NYE (and Navy Pier), watched movies, did a lot of good stuff that was all pretty normal. I even maintained a pretty stable condition throughout, there wasn't a lot of awkward (there was some, but way less than what he was used to from me - something I was sort of proud of).
I'm fairly sure there were points when he purposely teased me, the biggest one being coming out of the shower in nothing but jeans and shooting me this gigantic grin. I'm (slightly more than) fine with that, although it struck me as weird.
This is the same friend who (at the end of that week) persuaded me to rejoin Facebook and come out publicly - something I don't think I'd ever have done otherwise.
I've always been really paranoid about talking to him since I actually told him. I'd never really thought of an outcome that lead to him still being my friend, so I didn't know how to deal with the situation. I've done my best to keep things awkward-free and normal, and overall I've done a pretty good job.
But, I have serious trouble actually communicating with him. When I had FB, I'd message him occasionally, maybe once every month or so, not frequently. Generally we'd have short but normal chats, and that's good with me. The last couple of months though, it's been strange.
Earlier this week I talked to him when I was about to delete FB (I got tired of my social media site being the NYT and WSJ front page - which is all it was for me). We talked for a little while, I gave him my phone number, and he said he'd text me. There wasn't any sign of oddity in the conversation, and it seemed normal enough for me.
Before that it'd been July since we talked. I'd tried to talk to him in September - just a "hey what's up?" but never got a response. In July he'd asked for some advice - what to say to a friend to help them, apparently he thought (or knew) that they were suicidal, and he asked for my advice. I gave it, and it wasn't awkward (at least, no more awkward that a conversation like that can be).
Over the years he's never indicated anything to make me think he has a problem with me. He has told a third party (in private, under the assumption that I wouldn't know about it - I got told about it anyway) that he wants to be my friend, but doesn't know how to talk to me, and I get that, and I want to fix that.
Night before last I went ahead and texted him, asked if he wanted to go see that Tank movie that comes out this weekend. I texted him kind of late, around 10:30 (he told me previously that he gets off of work at 10). He replied almost instantly with "Who is this" - and once I texted him back, he never replied, and it's been a few days.
Not getting a reply from him isn't all that uncommon, but it feels like he's trying to tell me that he doesn't want to talk to me. I don't know why he'd be giving me that hint, since he continuously (even as recently as a few days ago) says the opposite, and doesn't show any weirdness when we talk.
I don't know how to deal with a situation like that.
My general upbringing / life experience has forced me to think critically about pretty much everything. But I over think everything as well, and that's a bad trait to have when you're trying to keep a relationship friendly and be self-loathing at the same time.
I could be reading into it too much, but I don't want to bother him with another text if he really doesn't want to talk to me. I'd get that if he just said so, it'd bother me but I wouldn't make a deal out of it. That'd just be how it is, and he wouldn't hear from me again. I've given him plenty of opportunities to say that in the past, and I've asked directly twice since I told him how I felt. My dad clung to me for years, I know what it's like to have someone talking at you. You... Every time you see their name you get a cold chill on your neck and your gut fills with dread. I never want to be that for anyone.
I just get weird vibes from the situation, and I don't know how to handle it. I don't know how to deal with signals so mixed, if some of them are even signals at all. It pisses me off that I have to be the one that has to deal with it.
I gave up on any romance a long time ago, I'm just trying to keep one of the extremely few friends I have. It's not like I want to talk to him for hours every day, I'd just like for us both to be able to talk to one another without fear of freaking the other one out. I get that maybe he doesn't want that, but I wouldn't know it from everything he's said and done to support the exact opposite (including the extremely poorly explained advice he gave to me a few months ago, 'always talk but not a lot' - the fuck does that mean?)
I don't enjoy having a lot of friends. I like to have a very few close ones, and those few that I have I tend to be unreasonably loyal to, so it's hard for me to just give up and say 'whatever' unless that other person indicates that that's what they want.
So, yeah. I don't know what to do, and it's casting a shadow around everything else (including the fact that apparently I've got a good enough portfolio to get decent freelance work).