It's interesting to have people assume you've reached the peak of your career and are on the downhill slide. I'm talking about other people's perception. (When you feel that way, it's not interesting; it's just horrid.)
It's rather like watching others respond to your demise. You stop existing entirely. In case you're guessing, this is about me, btw, of course, naturally, as usual. I'll switch off the you now.
Anyway, some of the people I considered friends haven't got time for me and I completely understand it. I might be bitter, but that's not my only response (and the bitterness tends to set in when I'm feeling bad about me and my writing so I expect even then it's about me, not them so much.) I get it: It's a variation on the Pratchett thing: personal is different from important.
If you have only so much time in your day to interact with people, you want to talk to and email the ones who'll be of some benefit to your career, particularly when your career is writing, where public image is a big-ass important thing. (back to the you, but I ain't putting this part in first person, thanks) Spending energy on someone you perceive as a has-been doesn't give you career rewards in any sense and might even put you in the same slot. It could be contagious.
So anyway, I definitely understand the POV of the former friend. And there are no hard feelings. Really. No feelings at all, in fact, except when I'm lonely and depressed, which I'm not at the moment, thank you God.
I only occasionally fantasize about when I do get that big break, I see myself giving specific people the cut direct, the distant puzzled smile. I'm sorry, I know I've met you. What is your name again?
Naw, I won't do that. Not because of the whole business mentality of "don't diss anyone--it'll bite you in the butt." But because I can imagine I do the same thing. I don't see me doing it, but I bet I have.
I certainly see me gushing at people I think of as successful. I think it's genuine admiration on my part, but when does admiration end and brown-nosing start? And if those writers never sold another book, or those editors get fired, or those agents fold up shop, would I dismiss all the advice they'd given me in the past? Stop stopping by their blogs to see what's going on? I hope I wouldn't but eh. Who knows? I can't imagine dismissing people like PBW just because damn, they're funny and clever no matter what the Big World thinks of them. Gush, gush.
UPDATE. Oh, and to anyone reading this. I'm not talking about you, you silly person. (you're visiting, right? Bringing grapes** and flowers to the friend in the nursing home.)
**We don't do that here, but what is it with bringing grapes in Britain? I see that in novels all the time. Why grapes?