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An open letter to my friends

It’s a Sunday afternoon in June, all warm sun and idling time, and I’m stuck in traffic on the motorway. Without warning, that song comes on, the one we sang and danced to, the one whose lyrics overlaid our lives. And all at once I’m frozen, knocked backwards. And I miss you with the force of a freight-train.

These days, the chances are that we’re out of touch. We all have busy lives, and I for one am terrible at maintaining long-distance friendships. This lovely internet of ours, which should make things easier, seems to only make them more casual. It takes less effort to stay in touch, so we put less effort in. And if you’re someone like me, so very easy to distract with the here and now, then putting in less effort can be a terrible thing.

As well, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that all the things that made us friends will have faded into the ether with distance. I’m afraid that time apart will have shown you all the holes in my skin where the water gets in, all the reasons you might have to put me aside. I’m afraid that our current distance is just the result of you seeing my flaws, or that I’m just not interesting or fun or enough of a good friend for you to want to spend time with me. And I’m afraid that my distance might make you less keen to respond. If I can’t make the effort, after all, why should you?

And of course, there’s really no easy answer to that. It goes both ways, but the distance is still there, and now it exists there are only a few things I can do about it. I can call you up, heart on the telephone-line, hope that you answer and want to talk. But you might be busy, or your number might have changed, and both things would stop the conversation before it even began. I can send you a facebook message, or a text, something light and easy, something to keep it casual. But I don’t think those help with distance; not really.

Or I can write a letter for you, for all of you, and plaster it all across the internet.

And so, the time has come, my friends. And here are the things I want to say in my letter.

I want to tell you that you’re wonderful. That you’ve all made my life in ways I couldn’t and wouldn’t have expected, that you’ve all been bloody amazing and that, however it might look, you are actually irreplaceable.

I want to show you the memories that catch in my throat and make me right somewhat self-indulgent letters on a Sunday evening, the images and scents and smells and tastes that will always be part of you in my head. I want you to know just how much you mean to me, because I’m too guarded, somehow, to let you know on a regular basis.

I want you to know that I still think you’re my friend, whether we haven’t spoken for a month… 6 months…a year… 6 years. I’m hard to track down, I know, but if you need me at any point, I’ll do my best to be there.

And I want to say sorry, because I know I’m not always great at being a good friend. Too easily distracted, secretly convinced you don’t really want me there, too wrapped up in my own issues to register your own. Too selfish in my solitude. If this distance is anyone’s fault, I’m almost sure it’s mine. And if I made you feel as if I didn’t care enough to stay in touch, then I really am sorry.

But most of all, my friends, I want to know how you are. I want to listen to you and lie on our backs on the grass and chew the cud and eat and drink and dance and sing along to the music. I want to know how you’ve grown and how you’re still the same, and find new facets of our friendship that might not have been there before, when we were younger and had lived less of our lives.

Dear everyone, I miss you.

I think we should hang out.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
magikalrhiannon
Jun. 10th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
Love you too Luci.
parenthesised
Jun. 11th, 2013 10:59 am (UTC)
Yay! How are you, oh wonderful one?
magikalrhiannon
Jun. 11th, 2013 11:06 am (UTC)
Heh, you want a well crafted lie or an honest answer?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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