Dear J is a series in our TGS Sunday Letters. Each Dear J letter is written anonymously by one of our writers. These letters are things we didn’t say, the things we wish we did and the things that we never will.
Do you ever feel like you’re on the other side of a screen watching someone fall in slow motion? Not actually falling per say, maybe flailing is the right word. When you see someone slowly flailing through their own life. Arms thrown wide, hair fanned out, legs scrambling for purchase. You see them reaching out, trying to grab ahold of anything around them so they can climb back up.
When you would flail Jane, you would grab onto me.
I would watch you flail. I would watch you bang into everything on your slow descent and then I would wait for you to inevitably reach out for me. And I would catch you. Because I loved you. Because I thought “this is what friends do. Friends catch each other when they flail.”
Then one time it was me that was flailing. I flailed, expecting to fall for a few exhilarating moments before I would feel your own hand reach out to grasp mine, but it never came. You let me fall further and further away while you stayed safe on your perch and watched me fall.
That was when I realized that my fall wasn’t a fall that we did together. This fall was mine and mine alone. When you would fall Jane, I was your parachute. I was your fail safe. I was so busy making sure that you were safe that I never bothered to check my own parachute. I never noticed you weren’t checking for me.
The next time that you fall Jane I won’t be able to catch you. I have to let you fall. I can’t keep trying to save you when you flail Jane.
I am my own parachute now. I am my own fail safe.