As an aside, I had a buddy in college … he had a man crush on me, and I thought he was pretty awesome too. My two favorite memories are when we each bought a flask of Wild Turkey and drank ourselves sick, just because we were trying to impress one another; and how he found me wallowing after my girlfriend dumped me (he raced over as soon as the rumor got to him), and he took me on a long drive through town, playing my favorite artist on his tape deck (PJ Harvey), which was cute because he only had one song by her on his mix tape.
His only flaw was his girlfriends, who were all pretty not-with-it, and sometimes positively unhinged. Years after we graduated, a good friend dated him for a long time, and I thought, Finally, someone cool worth his attention.
And when she finally extracted herself from that relationship, she reported that this guy was physically and verbally abusive, and utterly, totally controlling. And it explained everything. Now, upon this revelation, there was no conflict in my mind about my loyalty. To me, he seemed like bromance material. To women, he was a piece of shit, and that made him a piece of shit to the core. I don’t care how much I liked him.
But what makes me cringe is this: Am I allowed to have good memories of him? How could I just not see the common thread with these women he dated? How could I miss this about him? How could I be so fucking stupid?
This is the first time I’ve shared this, so it’s a little rambly. But a similar feeling came to me about Bill Cosby’s rape allegations. The man was an idol and a major inspiration to me, storytelling-wise. How can he continue to occupy such a happy place in my memories. How am I allowed to chuckle to myself when I think of his material?
This has really rattled me.