It occurs to me that I should have said something about this when it started bothering me. After all, the point of this blog was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of poets. Sometimes that means writing about small and large injustices.
Many people I know continually use a certain friend of mine. I want to mind my own business. . . but that isn't easy when it's right in your face all the time. I will call the used friend Benvolio.
Benvolio will do anything for you. He doesn't mind if you call him in the middle of the night for a ride home, to Oregon, to Orange County, or even to Mexico. He doesn't mind paying for the gas either. When other people flake on a job that needs doing, he doesn't mind doing it. If you need a meal, he doesn't mind cooking it for you. It's great having a friend you know will be there for you. I don't think I've ever asked Benvolio to do anything for me, but it's comforting to know that I have a friend I can count on.
Benvolio knows he's being taken advantage of. Because of all the things he has done for others, he has no way of paying for the things he wants to do. He spent all of his money on other people's gasoline. Of course, he doesn't mind.
I brought it up with a person I thought was my friend, and she got very defensive and attacked me for pointing out the problem. I know I should mind my own business, but how many times do you need to see pictures of sweatshops in China before you get pissed off about it? How many times do you need to hear about the atrocities in Darfur before you want to do something about it?
See, it's not about Benvolio, it's about the ones who take advantage of his generosity and kindness. The tree doesn't mind if you chop it down, and the dog doesn't mind if you kick it, but it doesn't mean that it's all right to do either.
And it reveals a flaw in your character if you do.