Calling Old Friends

I love keeping in touch with people I’ve met in my life, because it’s difficult to look at any of the friendships or relationships I’ve had in the past and say “my life would be better without that person”. I think I’ve been privileged and fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful people – people I’ve had disagreements with, fundamental disagreements, people I’ve hurt, people who have hurt me, but all wonderful people with their hearts in the right place. So thinking back to friendships I no longer have access to is sometimes a painful thing. When my brain decides to meander along to that place, I often find it resting on my school friendships – because at the end of Grade 12 I felt like we had all just become one big blob of friends, but that vanished soon after. In a lot of ways this feels magnified in my head. My brain enlarges small issues, something I’ve been working on, and I’m sure this is one too. A small change in the way we kept in touch somehow magnifying that we weren’t friends, or as close anymore.

Yesterday I was thinking about three people I hadn’t heard from in ages, so I messaged them this morning and had short phone conversations with one of them. That’s what convinced me I had blown everything out of proportion. It felt like nothing had changed at all. We’d just gone our own paths, having stopped for a while to meet each other along the way, but taken different turns after meeting – with different destinations in mind. Those roads aren’t that far apart that you can’t find the space to meet again. Phone conversations feel like the best way to do that, even if you just recall how you met the last time. I think I want to do these sort of catch-ups more, even if I’ve derided the practice in the past. Maybe it’s just a result of the conversation today, and maybe it’s just the circumstances – but calling old friends and hearing from friends with whom I went to school will always occupy a special place in my heart.

GloPoWriMo 2020: 2/30

Today’s prompt is to write about a specific place.

School

Primary school was a 3-minute drive from home,
Exit the car park,
Take a left,
Take a right,
Make a U-turn,
Take a right,
You have arrived.
Every morning, I’d be a passenger, witness to this route in my semi-dazed state,
Each afternoon, I’d be a compatriot to my father, awake and
Describing every minute of my day.
Take a left,
Make a U-turn,
Take a left,
Take a right,
Enter the car park,
You are home.
In those 3 minutes, I’d fill my dad’s ears with all sorts of stories,
Excitedly babbling away – never paying attention,
To the road that he’d take,
If only I had,
Perhaps I would have recognized,
That the shortest route to my school,
Was just a straight line.
Unfortunately, that was not to be,
My grandfather and I walked, in 40 degrees,
We exited the car park,
Took a left,
Took a right,
Made a U-turn,
Took a right,
We had arrived.