Wednesday, August 15, 2007

old friends

i'd been having a rough week
but last night i hung out with old friends.

i'm talking high school friends (which for me was 10 years ago now), friends i used to see daily but now see every six months or less. sare's in a band and it was her birthday.

i don't know the contours of these women's lives- in fact when i knew them they were barely women at all - and yet i feel at ease around them, unquestionably welcome.

sare had a boy draped on her arm often enough that i'm figuring he's a significant other in her life, but we've never spoken of it. i vaguely remember seeing him before. a friend of sare's remembered my name from last time we met, i didn't even remember her face. kat had a new boy, although, again, i don't know any of the contours. sara just got back from dubai. i vaguely remember her mentioning it being a pipe-dream but i didn't know she'd actually gone. these are not the people i am close to these days, i'm sure they know just as little of the shape of my life.

all our lives keep moving, the details all changing, the details that give our lives meaning. in some ways it makes no sense to say we know each other at all - i've changed so much since high school, haven't I? - our lives have taken such different directions. and yet there's an underlying continuity that's profoundly both comforting and discomforting.

these women can poke some old memory, summoning another time. my high school years were filled with frustration, deep disappointment and pent-up fury, constantly simmering not far below the surface, overlaid most times with a smile. their anecdotes could sound cruel, brutally honest, coming from anyone else. but the distance between then and now, and the intimacy between us back then, affords a chance for laughter rather than judgement.

it's cosy, comforting, like an old stuffed toy that plays a negligible role in adult life, and yet is kept. sare offered to read chapters of my thesis when i write them. and she was genuine. she always was so generous ...

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