october 18th, 2009 - day 13697

i don't know when or why it happened, but it did. i suppose it's no glowing tribute to my perceptiveness or my loyalty that i never noticed until yesterday morning. i had been curious why i hadn't seen any news about you in a little while, but i figured you had been too busy to post anything, much as i have been (far too often of late, as the broad gap in my journal can attest). regardless, i awoke yesterday with a sole intention in the forefront of my consciousness: to send you a message to let you know that my thought are with you. it was then, as i combed through my list for your address, that i discovered the terrible truth: apparently, we're no longer friends.

at least, that's what facebook is telling me.

i could hear the second hand on the clock stop, the world slowed and faded, and i was frozen in that moment of disbelief. surely, you were still there; i mean, i got a cheery little "i've added you as a friend" email whenever i was added to someone's list, certainly there would have been a message to tell me if i had been deleted. i must have just missed the entry in the friends list. if you recently changed your profile picture, conceivably i might not have recognised it. i felt the slightest flicker of panic, as i hurriedly scanned the list again, even performed a search for your name. nothing.

maybe it was an error. yeah; the server could have mistakenly left me off the list. i've had friends disappear and reappear before. besides, the system has been pretty flaky lately; i can't even update my status or access my inbox anymore. not a malfunction? are you sure? hmm... well, perhaps you've just found yourself in cleaning mode, and i was accidentally swept into the dustbin. heck, i don't know who else may have been removed. maybe you were aiming for somebody with a similar name. yeah, perhaps you just deleted the wrong name; a slip of the mouse, an oversight...

or, perhaps not. maybe it really was deliberate.

still in shock, my mind raced over the past months. we said hello to each other just a few days before, and there was no sign of discontent. not long before that we chatted warmly, if briefly, near the market. perhaps our lives aren't as intertwined as they once were - a regret of mine, i'll admit - but one could probably say the same for dozens of people with whom you still remain connected. i know, it's been a while since you first confirmed my request, and clearly i don't play the same role in your life as i did years ago, but still. not so long ago you were writing birthday wishes on my wall and sending me occasional messages. now, to be cut loose without any notice... how did we come to this?

i suppose i have been more distant than usual over the past year. i've never been great at maintaining a rapport, and i've lost contact with a lot of people whose friendships are important to me as a result. i try to give people more space when they're stressed, knowing how much i need time on my own to sort things out, so it's possible i gave you too much space. and of course, i've been less available in most respects, between work and health, and i haven't visited as often as i could. of the little time i've been around, i've spent more than my fair share of it complaining. perhaps i have become a negative presence in your e-life, something to be avoided, like those emails telling you that there's millions of dollars waiting for you in nigeria, or making dubious promises to improve your love life. in a way, it's something of a minor miracle that more of my friends haven't cut me off (though i wouldn't blame any of them for hiding my comments in their news feeds). cynical as i may be, even my exes still count me among their friends! what terrible thing must i have done to make you delete me?

listen to me waffling on; woody allen would be more composed than this. could it be that i'm just too neurotic? clearly, i'm over-thinking this whole thing. you've always been such a kind, considerate person, surely it must be just a misunderstanding. besides, it's not like you've completely blocked me or stopped speaking to me, right? i mean, being deleted from a facebook friend list is more akin to caller id filtering than issuing a restraining order. i could always just try adding you as a friend again, but i don't want to come across as anxious (never mind creepy, needy, desperate, obsessive, need i go on?). so, i guess, i'll just suck it up and soldier on. whatever facebook may say, i am still your friend, and so i shall remain. nothing can change that. but, if you should feel inclined to reaffirm my friendship, the add link is on my profile page, right next to my name. i'll be right here, waiting for that familiar email heading...