A bit more than year ago now, a friend of mine acted in a way that made me question his friendship. It was terribly inconsiderate of my situation and even my health. He made it clear that what he wanted trumped any of my considerations, and my involvement was merely a means for him to get what he wanted. I was very unhappy. I made no effort to contact him afterward because I didn’t know what I could say that wouldn’t simply be angry.

He sent me a brief message a few months ago, and I was absolutely dumbfounded that the tone was as if everything was normal. The anger has subsided because we’re clearly not on the same page about what happened, or even probably about what being a friend means. Last week I sat down and wrote a short but concise e‑mail message explaining why I had been silent for so long, and why it was clear to me that I was mistaken in believing that we had a friendship. Ah, sweet catharsis! Then the message bounced. He’d changed his e‑mail address. Now what would I do?

I realized I would do nothing. I wrote the message I needed to write. The fact that I couldn’t deliver it was not important. The funny thing is that if I knew I wouldn’t be able to deliver the message before I started writing, the writing would have done nothing for me.

What curious creatures we are.