He posted on Facebook this afternoon that he was thankful for his sense of smell which alerted him to a burning wire nut which could have easily brought the whole house down in flames. (His house, the house that is in his name only, but that I helped him remodel with sweat equity, including but not limited to building roof trusses by hand with him, laying shingles, painting the entire thing, building a loft, and a whole slew of other projects.) The picture of the plastic yellow nut burnt to an unrecognizable state was certainly enough to make one gasp. And I feel sorry for him that only a very small handful of "friends" commented or "liked" his post. It made me realize how much people are completely avoiding giving him positive attention. His house nearly goes up in smoke and only 4 people have any visible emotional response for him. Sad. It made me wonder and so I compared his recent posts to some from several months ago or last year. He consistently is getting only a handful of likes or comments instead of the dozens he got in the past. I think people are giving him the cold shoulder on Facebook. Yes, he deserves it, but though it makes me feel strangely validated and supported in a silent way, it mostly just makes me sad for him that he really has no one. The few comments or "likes" are from long-lost connections that he hasn't seen in years that have no real idea what's happening in his life.It's such a shame. Such a pathetic waste.
So, I hemmed and hawed and decided to send him a short text letting him know I saw about the near fire and was thinking of him. He answered back with an abbreviated "thx," and I was instantly reminded how crucial it is to keep all interaction purely logistical, not even remotely emotional. I realize I'm not being fair here. There's probably nothing he could have possibly said in response to my text that wouldn't have been disappointing in some way. He didn't do anything wrong in this scenario. And yet I was disappointed. Why, I don't know, other than there was no emotional response back and it was an opportunity for some kind of emotional interaction, and one that has nothing to do with our crisis. He could have replied with a "yeah, it was really scary," or "no kidding, thank god I was in the house at the time," or any of a thousand other responses that would have offered more interaction, but all I got was "thx." He's really not to blame here. I'm not picking on him. It was an appropriate response, it's just that any emotional interaction (or in this case, the lack thereof) is still so very painful. When will that cease?