Are you as surprised as I am? This is my seventh post in as many days – who’d-a-thunk? With my recent track record, I was prepared to have blown it sometime around day three. And not to be all sweet and sticky, because I don’t care for that stuff, but all the support I got when I knocked the dust of my blog last week, is what kept me going. So thank you, it means a lot and it helped enormously.
I’m going to take a bit of a detour on today’s prompt path because it triggered thoughts about something different (but in the same vein) that I want to write about: actually re-connecting with a friend I’d lost track of around 1988.
“But Baroness,” you say. “That was 27 years ago! Was this the baby lying next to you in the maternity ward display case?”
Oh how I wish that was the case, my lovelies. Alas, it is not. But please do continue thinking of me as someone who’s yet to celebrate her 30th birthday. This is Blogville, and out here you’re only as old as your readers think you are. In real life … or IRL as the kids as the kids like to say, I crested the hill 30 a while back.
“Are you playing a game?” you ask. “Referring to other people as ‘kids’ is usually done by more ‘mature’ folks. But you also know what IRL means and you used it correctly, indicating a more youthful person. You are a clever one, Baroness. I am stumped!” (Am I the only one who read that last part in the voice of Wallace Shawn trying to decide on a glass of wine?)
We were living in a rather exclusive environment when I met Marigold (not her real name, but I don’t mention names without first securing an okey-doke). For purposes of maintaining her privacy, from this point forward, I’ll refer to her as Marigold Hootenany.
As I was saying, in order to become a resident, a person had to meet certain standards. Since we lived there, we’d obviously met the all the requirements. Without going into much detail about the place or its location, I’ll just say that if had we been been actors or musicians, it was the type of place rich/famous people go when they’re suffering from “exhaustion.”
I’d often wondered what it was about fame and money that made those who have it so damn tired all the time. I’m not bashing the famous, I just couldn’t imagine that acting is more taxing than being a cop or a fire-fighter. And you never hear about them going for a stay at The Clinic For The Chronically Pooped Out. But when it became clear that I, too, was exhausted, it all started making sense.
So that’s where Marigold and I met. I don’t know what her initial impression of me was, but I liked her right away. She had a quality that runs through the people I gravitate toward – a combination of directness and no apparent concern about what others might think. But not a “Fuck them! I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I’m gonna do what I want!” lack of concern It’s a characteristic in people whom seem to have their priorities in the right order. A willingness to make a scene — not just for the sake of scene making, but because it’s the right thing to do even if it means being uncomfortable. We became fast friends and I hope my presence helped make her stay at the home for the exhausted a little easier, because that’s what she did for me.
But as so often happens in lives where exhaustion plays a role, we eventually lost track of each other. Remember, this was back in the olden days when phones were tethered to the kitchen wall and Contacts were stored in actual memory (in your brain) or were written down. With a pencil. On paper. Today, that feels about as inconvenient as back when they had to use chisels to carve phone numbers into stone tablets.
Fortunately, we’ve moved into the Webernet Age and no longer have to hire a tough talking Private Eye with a weakness for women and whiskey, whose methods are unconventional, but still gets the job done, to find people for us. But even with all the people-finding technology, it still took me years to track Marigold down. The fact that she got married and changed her name before moving overseas made the search a bit more challenging.
After a couple of e-mails and text messages, we got on the phone … and stayed there for 14 hours! Twenty-seven years after bunking together for less than six months, and nothing had really changed … unless you count every thing. Our lives bear little resemblance to those of the girls who first met almost three decades ago. But whatever it was that made us friends in the first place, was still there. It had just been hibernating.
I guess things and places and circumstances will change, but friendship doesn’t have to. It may go dormant, but it’s ready to go as soon as you wake it up.Friendships are like dogs in that regard: They don’t know if you’ve been gone for five minutes or five years, they’re just damn glad to see you.