hello goat house fam:
today i’d like to write about friends.
it’s insanely difficult to have long distance long term best friends. at least for me. i like being with my friends in person. that’s what does it for me. long conversation over a phone, on text, or via email rarely compare (although in certain rare circumstances, the delight of a written correspondence can exceed the appeal of a real life hangout).
it’s been three and a half years since i moved away from one of my core centers of friends, and i might actually feel the interminable void of the absence of these relationships even more, now.
its not that i’ve found no one to replace them, because those aren’t the right terms. finding your space in a new place is not about replacing old with new; yet sometimes when your new place feels more habitable than the last, the old place slowly fades. eventually, very few relics from your former location hold any ties on you at all.
when this doesn’t happen — especially with people — you slowly start to forget how you ever connected with humans at all. you miss intimacy. you miss the mutual understanding that you want to spend a lot of time together, because of how richly good that time always feels.
and suddenly, your most healthy relationships become luxury items; something you can no longer afford in your schedule or with your bank account.
your time is constrained by distance, and your finances are unable to support the load. the result: you spend about 1-2 weeks a year with your most cherished companions.
as i sit alone in my living room, i muse about what compels me to feel so strongly for these people on the other side of the country, whom i barely speak to anymore at all! an occasional offbeat movie or book recommendation, a happy birthday or a reminiscence: a random face time call for a rousing sea shanty recitation on speaker — when you’re 2/3 naked in the changing room at the gym.
i’m watching a film entitled “Woman in the Dark” that was made in 1934, and i think about this group of friends and how’d they’d watch it with me, if i so desired. i can imagine some of the jokes we’d make about the hilarity of the sequence in an opening scene: a gangster shoots his dog in a random stranger’s house and then leaves, and the owner of the house and his lady guest simply cover the dead dog with a blanket, making no attempt to move it — then Mr. Macho turns to Escaped Damsel and says “Want a cigarette?” while enticingly holding out an open box of smokes.
my friends are regular people. i really hope that once they’re all settled, we can still play monopoly and watch star trek over pasta deep in the snow and the woods in New Hampshire on New Year’s Eve.
i’ve explored many places with these friends, experiencing the beauty of land and sea scapes, waterfalls, boulders, snow, lakes, sun, and wind together (this summer, we nearly blew whimsically away off a peak in east glacier!). there is a certain resonance of shared enjoyment. tastes in worldly things align. philosophical perspectives are echoed, enhanced, or challenged. hearty debate abounds. all with a good, heaping side of mutual roasting.
we don’t use our phones much together. i know that my instagram account doesn’t have to look cool for them to want to hang out with me. we just genuinely revel in each other’s company; and most of the time, we feel truly safe and secure. it is not an easy feat, to find friends such as these. i’m thankful i have them somewhere, if not right here, at least.
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