Yesterday, I did an informal reading with a director two of my friends worked with our freshman year. When we were done at 3:15pm, none of us had anything to do (I was theoretically seeing L after 5pm– I had a feeling she’d cancel though, and I was right), so we decided to indulge in happy hour.
We drank cheap cocktails and talked abouteverything, the kind of talk you don’t get to do so much. The boy, J, is the “brownstone commune”set, but the girl, R, I really never get to spend as much time with. Sometimes she makes me nervous, or self-conscious, since she always seems together, and beautiful, and well-loved and perfectly imperfect.
At 6pm, I sent J home with Chipotle and waited for R to finish doing a brief musical rehearsal she left us to do. J’s text when he got home:
Then, we went out and drank more cocktails, eventually holding hands and revealing to each other each of our own insecurities and fears and struggles (she had eating issues I’d never really noted… unfortunately our dear friend and roommate K had a bad influence on us both, by accident of course and we were already prone… but still). Basically, it was 7 hours of such intense, blooming, life-altering friendship. That’s my favorite. Her text to me after we parted ways to head home:
I mentioned a few posts ago about seeing my old friends N and R again. That experience was another explosion of LOVE and friendship and honesty and trust. I love to drink with people I’m close with– I become so SO happy and feel so SO loved. It’s just in my nature, I suppose, without much inhibition. A text to N about seeing R:
And of course, there’s L. Lovely, lovely, sick, brave, sad, strong L. I didn’t see her last night, but I did spend nearly 5 hours with her at the day hospital today. We napped, we chatted, we waited. It’s interesting how my mind does this thing where I wonder what I would do if I were her in those moments… I’d probably want to be alone, watching bad TV or sleeping alone. But Leslie wants to be touched, to be consoled, to have me not just sitting near her reading, resting, whatever, but to be snuggling, my hand on her shoulder.
It’s also hard to want so desperately to do what she needs me to do. I want to give her total happiness, total comfort in every moment. It’s an impossible hope, because I’m not a magical mind reader. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough, and despite the enormous amount I want to be her rock, I sometimes feel like I’m failing. Then I get a text like this from her mom:
And then, these from her. Different days, not really prompted. But so beautiful and special and more meaningful than almost any actual compliment I’ve ever received.
When I remind myself of these people… when these moments bump up on my phone with a ding or a buzz… I can feel my heart sweel and grow. I can feel the power of their love and I remember why I fight for myself every second of every day, and why I forgive myself every time I make mistakes.
They are amazing, and I am lucky.
Okay, here are a bunch of quotes… They’re just all so good! (All AA Milne)
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
“And by and by Christopher Robin came to the end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there, looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn’t stop.”
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”