If there is one thing I hate saying, it’s “sorry.” Sorry I didn’t care enough to think before I spoke, before I acted, before I hurt you, before I ruined this. Sorry I don’t care enough to try to fix this. Sorry, but I’d rather just say this band-aid of a word and move on. Pretend this fixes it. Sorry I ran into you. Sorry your pet died. Sorry I lost that thing that meant a lot to you. Sorry.
My father used to yell at me that sorry wasn’t good enough. At six, I took that literally, and learned new ways to say the same thing. I regret that this has occurred. I was an unwitting smartass. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that there is nothing I hate more. I hate saying I’m sorry because it sounds so fucking insincere. I hate saying I’m sorry because it feels like dismissal. I would rather just not mention it, if we’re going to do it anyway. Why bring it up and be awkward?
I hate being apologized to, because if I consider someone a friend, I don’t need an apology. If I consider someone a friend, I’m going to be careful what I say, what I do, to make sure that I don’t act or speak or behave in a way that’s going to actually hurt them. If I can do that, I won’t need to apologize. Any hurt I inflict will be an accident.
I’ve made an anti-sorry pact with two people in my life. The first was my Prince K. We’ve broken the pact on accident, and when it happens, we negate the “S-word” for each other. “I DIDN’T HEAR THE S WORD DID YOU?” “WHAT? NO, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” “I DON’T KNOW, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” It’s served us wonderfully. It’s the ultimate sign of trust, in my opinion.
The other person is someone I no am no longer friends with. After months of preserving the pact, she deliberately broke it. Not over something she was sincerely sorry about, or regretted, but in that petulant way that a child who doesn’t feel they’re wrong will apologize to someone they’ve hit. It fucking hurt. It wasn’t just an apology, after we’d been able to go so long without it. It was a lie, it was a broken promise, and I stopped trusting her with my real feelings the minute she did that.
I’m not asking anyone to make a similar pact, a pact to never say you’re sorry, because I don’t know if you’ll understand. I don’t know if it’s half as annoying to you to hear the words “I’m sorry” from someone who should know you well enough to know they don’t need to, who should trust that it’s okay, you don’t mind. It’s a waste of words, a lack of sentiment, an overreaction. But, it’s worked for me. It turned out that I couldn’t trust the friend who broke the pact, and the friend who’s kept it for two and a half years is someone I know I can turn to with any problem, who I know won’t laugh at me or target my weaknesses or exploit the holes in compassion that I show her.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved drawing, but I have loved drawing people almost exclusively. This stems from the fact that I love people anyway, love their flaws and their faces and the angles of their hands and wrists, the way the curves and lines of them are absolute and imperfect but very right. Drawing just scenery seems like a waste, for me, like I forget that people don’t exist only in the nebulous fog of my imagination, and that saying “but places exist” as my argument is not only stupid but not helpful at all.
So I’m going to
try to draw places, too, and to love them as much as I love people.