|Tea all the way from London.|
My previous blog post was a bit depressing, I blog so little these days and I had largely put the post out of my mind, when in the last week I received an unexpected phone call and a long distance old timey actual hold in hand letter. Two old friends, one I am lucky to see once a year and another whom I haven't seen in a very very long time.
I was deeply moved by the concern of both these friends. It bought a god damn tear to my eye reading the first page of that letter (there was more than one page, it was an epic letter!).Funny how kind words can shake the self declared stoic.
Old friends are a funny thing, I remember recently meeting an old friend from high school for a coffee. I had ordered a coffee, but she didn't want any because she'd already had several coffees that day even though she knew she was meeting me later for coffee. (Damn we should have met at the pub). So it was an awkward start. I think she expected me to be as exactly as she remembered and seemed really "weirded" out by me. Anyway I did some stupid stuff with a boy during my last years of high school and it clouded a lot of what should have been true lasting friendships. I am always surprised when old high school friends want to add me on facebook. Especially people I haven't spoken to since 1997.
Another old "friend" emailed me after leaving the woman he left me for. He mentioned being lonely, I think I emailed him back a much more polite version of " I really don't give a fuck why on earth would you think I would?" I got a reputation for being "cold". Although I think in versions not related back to me perhaps it was "cold hearted bitch".
Life goes on and people change a lot. And sometimes maybe it is only the memory of glorious summers of friendship that keep it alive over long distances and even longer years.
Sometimes I wonder about these long distance old time friends, I feel like my voice is like a ghost of Christmas past, reminding them of a person they no longer are, and just by my presence alone I remind them of events they would rather forget. Its as if I am the personification of the part of your brain that makes you remember humiliating events just as you are drifting off to sleep.......I'm a dirty old piece of nostalgia intruding on a shiny new life. Personally I am not big on reminiscing, the old me doesn't exist any more. I've learned from the awful things I've done and have "done my time" on them, as it where. You don't notice the day when that movie reel of regretful actions stops playing on a daily schedule in your head. Just the rare occasions when a spontaneous encore screening begins. I turn out the lights and wonder how I managed to watch that day in, day out.
So its part fear and part shame at my youthful nonsense that I don't stay in touch like I should with people from my adolescence. (Also it was a pretty shitty time family wise and these memories are very intermingled. Its hard to compartmentalise and not dreg up too many carcasses from the deep)
Regrettably (and it is with genuine regret) I am guilty of not tending to the precious friendships I have from that time. I am not a super great friend, I am a hermit of sorts and decline or postpone invitations and never get in touch, but I don't mind listening to troubles and pouring you a tea or scotch. or sitting in on a winters night eating curry and watching some ridiculous movie together. I pay attention to the snippets of your lives leaking onto facebook and twitter, wish for more news and think of you often. But if my friendships were plants they would be withered, in need of water and sustenance.
Perhaps this is the winter of greater effort, to find if I can have a small place in the hearts of other people, and let them know of the secret place in heart where they have always been.