When I am home alone in the daytime, I revel. This may take small forms, like staying in my pyjamas until 2pm, or reading at the table. I keep the blinds open so I can see the grey day unfolding, and I cook, or I clean, or I spend too much time on the computer. I practice my juggling until the person downstairs must be like: enough already! Stop dropping those balls on the floor! I've taken to playing Baroque music on internet radio recently (or as one station intriguingly calls it, "Barock Music") because it is old, stately, beautiful, and never, ever, schlocky. Simple, small, domestic things that only feel so good because I don't always have to do them day in, day out. Yesterday and today I have been: cooking delicious meals, making my place look nice, and fielding calls about my next job, a job that will pay me a very nice sum of money to play my accordion for one of Vancouver's biggest theatre companies. I find the word "blessed" a bit precious, so let's just say I feel pretty lucky right now, alright?
Lucky, but slightly disconnected.
Disconnected as in, well, here's a weird little image for you:
I'm fishing, and all around me are lines that I'm supposed to be managing. Some of them have some pretty big fish on them, wonderful fish, but the lines are so long and the fish are so far from me that it's hard to reel them in.
Some of them are close to me, but the fish are tiny, so I just pull 'em out from time to time, look quickly at the fish, and put them back in the water.
Some of the lines that I thought held a juicy fish now seem to be empty.
And there are lines that I haven't even checked yet; lines that may contain the most brilliant, plump, nourishing fish I've yet to meet.
Substitute friends for fish and maybe you see where I'm going with this.
I'd like to be a better friend, but sometimes the rules elude me and I feel like a total beginner. Distance and Facebook and my ever-changing jobs don't help any, and I blame them loudly and often to J, to my blog, in 'counselling' (when I was having that), but I think I need to stop blaming and start trying harder. Facebook is a too-safe place to dip into, leave little remarks, and withdraw, but if push came to shove, if things got hard, how many of those "friends" would give a damn about me? Would do more than write "OMG I'm so sorry lol" and move on with their days? And to be fair, how many of them would I do more than that for?
Friendship should be messy sometimes, and awkward. Friendship should be about being there in tough times and getting drunk together and babysitting the kids when there's no one else, and having it out when you're angry and celebrating the things that are awesome. I wish I had more friends like that; hell, I wish I WAS a friend like that, but I'm not. Not often enough.
Actors and musicians? Stevie Nicks said "Players only love you when they're playing", and ain't that the truth, more often than not. Just because you're my BFF right now doesn't mean it will last once the band breaks up/the show closes. Even if we have the best intentions, we probably won't see each other very much.
Girls? I haven't been great at girlfriends since high school. School was easy. School was she's my best friend; those two/four are inseparable/this is my group, that's who I hang with now and forever. And yes, I am well aware that it wasn't like this for everyone, that school can be the worst time, but I was lucky. I had steadfast friends. Always. After school is I'm moving 2000 miles away. It's boyfriends and husbands and children and differing lifestyles and work and snatching time in the midst of All This. I honour and love the girlfriends I have (a short but lovely list that happily includes my mother) but sometimes (like today) I see a report card and my name and a comment that says: could do better.
Guys are easier, until they're not, and you're thinking well, I like you a lot, which also means I find you attractive, which is a can o' worms and no mistake. I don't want to live in an all-woman purdah, but if I'm hanging out with a guy then there are unwritten rules, right? Like, coffee once in a while is okay, but calling you to go to a play or a concert because my guy is busy/not interested might be weird/predatory/seen as cheating. I pause here and think that maybe I'm over-analyzing, but then I think of my other 'coupled' friends and how often I hear them say that they went out with a guy who wasn't their partner. Which is practically never. I don't want to just have friends that are 'our' friends- although I value those highly-I want some of my own, female and male. But I think this is hard to do.
So what, then?
Today I'll wrap up this blog, which has taken a long time to write. I'll cook dinner for my man, who is one of the best friends a girl could hope to have, because he is working sick today and little things like dinner mean more when you feel gross. And I'll go to the theatre with a girlfriend, one of the good ones, one of the ones who stuck around through the kids and and the distance and the different life paths and I think we'll have a great time.
And I'll keep myself open to new friends, and try to be better and more honest to the ones I have, and I'll stop checking Facebook so often because I don't think that what's on there is the best kind of friendship.