How do you respond to an old friend that called you evil and said you needed to be ran out of your country because you don’t share their belief system? By email? Who never bothered to respond to your outrage? And whom you’ve never heard from since?
Josie and I met in Germany when we were teenagers and became fast friends. We spent so much time together that a rumour or two circled around about us being lesbians. Years went by, we both married and moved to seperate sides of the planet, but kept in touch as much as possible all things considered.
Somewhere in her travels, she found a god. I did not. Nothing changed. We didn’t avoid religious talk, but it wasn’t something either of us saught out. Then that email arrived. Cruel and vicious in its rage. I was evil. I was the cause of everything that is allegedly wrong with the world. I didn’t deserve to live in such a great country. I needed to be ran out or shipped out.
Why? For being an atheist. Nothing more. It’s one thing to get something like that from a stranger, an acquaintance or even someone you didn’t like to begin with. It’s another to get something like that from someone you’ve known for over a decade and considered a close friend. The shock and rage was extreme. I must have written a dozen or more responses just to throw them away. I finally settled on one that wasn’t too hostile and angry about a week later.
No response. I never heard from Josie again. Until a few days ago. A short little email saying she was here and would love to catch up with me.
I think I should acknowledge her missive, but honestly – I’ve got nothing. Well, I do but it’s only anger at her chutzpah and what good will that do? The bridge was burned. Firebombing it seems a bit overboard, eh?