February 13, 2021:

The inevitable punchline is: I still love her. For her brilliance, her charm, and most especially the occasional gestures of understanding and solidarity which are so supremely, perfectly accurate that I still sometimes gasp to think of them.

I would be friends, if it were safe.

It's not. Her level of toxicity is so extreme that even I recognize it.

There's some learning evident on my part, but it probably wouldn't be necessary. Her destructiveness is that transparent.

Thus with encouragement from therapy I decline to reach out, where time creates distance and eventually we're no longer in touch. And each time I move I throw out or donate more of her detritus, most recently the rocks she painted as gifts and the dozens of small glass knickknacks she scavenged from thrift stores. Scavenged, or more likely stole, knowing her. So that my homes little by little become less like her, and more like me, and time does its healing thing.