Yes, it is the "elephant in the room". He's sad because no one will talk about/to him.
And no, I don't know what the paper said. It was some junk mail from my university.
Uh, I reconnected with a very dear friend by letter (let's call him Bob). My feelings about him and my fiance are how I learned I was poly and not just a serial monogamist. I made this to ease a bit of the awkwardness of coming out to him.
Bob and I have had a very close friendship for twelve years now, which has drifted all over from frosty to something very much like a romantic friendship. Two years ago, I told my boyfriend at the time that I loved him, and he couldn't reciprocate so that relationship tore itself apart. My ex was a long time mutual acquaintance, so I fell into Bob's comforting support.
About two weeks after Bob started dating this awesome girl, he told me he was considering asking me out right around the time things got started with my ex. It really shocked me because I always thought things between us were somewhat intimate but platonic (his insistence, not mine). But after this confession, we maintained the same kind of proximity and were still physically affectionate.
Well, people started spreading rumors and I think I intimidated Bob's girlfriend, so he needed space. We didn't really talk or see each other for about a year and a half. It was extremely difficult for me to put that relationship on a total halt. I still have vivid dreams with Bob. I couldn't get over those feelings.
In the meantime, though, I met someone wonderful who supports me. We have a very deep level of intimacy and I still talk to him when I'm sad about Bob. He encourages me to be myself as a polyamorous person, even though he's monogamous.
Anyway, I tried to re-establish contact with Bob a few months ago. We wrote some letters back and forth and I made this linocut to ease the awkward tension between us since Bob is very strictly monogamous (even though I'm certain he does have feelings for me still) and I hadn't expressly told him that I'm polyamorous in so many words. It was just something that we talked around because I didn't have a full grasp on my identity and it made him uncomfortable.
Well, Bob can get pretty frosty when he's uncomfortable or afraid of something. It's a character trait that I've learned to accept over many years as his friend, so when he did respond to my "coming out" letter, I wasn't too surprised that he couldn't talk about it.
What he did respond with was to tell me about his plans to propose to his girlfriend, which were awesome and cheesy and romantic and she loved it and said yes. Again, awesome. I'm totally happy for them.
So, the only reason why this didn't work out well in my opinion, is because it hurt me how he chose to respond to my letter. I'm glad, on one hand, because I knew in advance and it happened two days before my birthday. On the other hand, I'm still upset that Bob has never once commented on my engagement but responded to my letter by telling me about his engagement plans.
It was a huge risk I took to tell him the truth. I knew that, but I know it was the right thing to do. It just broke my heart anyway.
But I'm really lucky. Bob's still talking to me, in a distant, frosty kind of way. I have a wonderfully supportive network, even if it is very small, and I think I'm getting better about dealing with my own feelings of abandonment and rejection.