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Year-end Thoughts, II

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Year-end Thoughts, II

II. Life.

This really should be titled “On the nature of Mitchell’s friendships.”

Looking back on the events in the year, it comes to mind that very few “new people” come into my life. For sure, very few “new people” who come into my life are not in fact found by my better half, and are therefore extentions of her friendships. (That is, I would not meet many “new people” if it were not for her.) I think, this year, that the only new people in my life have been Bartender Tremblay and MA Steve. And even then, MA Steve is just a case of rekindling an older acquaintance.

Astute readers will recognize both people to be persons I have met at work. That’s totally reasonable. People meet people where ever they situate themselves, and unfortunately, 2004 featured many nights of being situated in the bar. I shared many things in common with Bartender Tremblay and MA Steve. Whether is was ruminating on the nature of art over our seventh round of Guiness, or arguing about the the humanities’ place in future academia while Steve whips up a wicked hollandaise which I’ll never touch (not a fan), I found good times, great wits and incredible conversations with both Tremblay and Steve.

When I think about my friendship with either of these two people, though, I struggle to find any lasting sense of purpose. They’re both perfectly good people, and I have every reason to get alone with them. But they don’t quite make the grade for me. Many times now I’ve tried to figure out what “the grade” is. Where is the line in the sand, and exactly what does it demarcate? I often wonder if ever I’ll allow myself to find friends like the ones I have met in the past. Sometimes I wonder if I would be insulting the close friendships with my closest friends by making new ones.

Its horrible, though, the way I treat my friends. Really. I consider my closest friends to be family. Herlan, for instance, has been my “sister” for the longer time, and she always will be. Though I’ve never had a sister, I do know the love I feel for her is equitable to the love I have for my little brother, who is of true blood relations. There’s no questioning the sense of family I have around Herlan, which is why I was honoured to have her be my best man. Despite this closeness, though, I don’t keep in regular contact with her. Not with the phone, not with the post, and not even with e-mail. I’m a horrible friend. I am like this with all my friends. And my family, too.

I don’t know why I am this way. I’m not going to think about it too much, suffice to say that when I was younger, so may mom says, I was more happy to be alone in my room with my children’s books and lego than I was to hang out with other people. I suppose I’m naturally introverted, and very quiet. That is not to say that I don’t think about my friends. I dwell on them too much. Too many times will I say to the better half, “I’m missing iWill right now” or “It would be great is Herlan was having dinner with us, too”, and she will throw her hands up in frustation because I still will not pick up the phone, write the letter, or type up an e-mail. I suppose I still prefer to sit with my books and legos, and continue to think about my friends instead of hanging out with them,

Moving to Halifax so long ago really made clear to me how few friends I have. I have few friends, by choice, and feel incredibly attached to them. But moving out here as I did, created so much distance between them and me. I can’t hang out with my old friends as I once did. But that’s besides the point. Like I said, I was happy being alone. What I really began to notice by moving out here was how detached I was from people. I really do make a point to keep two steps back from people. I need to observe, for a very long time, it seems, before I make a judgement call. I suppose I don’t easily let people into my life, or allow myself to be let into others’ lives. It is in this respect that John’s comments from so long ago were very touching. I read them in September, and have not yet forgotten them. I don’t think I ever will. I can’t think of many other occassions where some one has sincerely stated they are grateful for our friendship. John’s right, about the nature of friendship. The knots of friendship often do come about completely by chance – stangers one day, friends the next. Yes, Its a fucking miracle.

(My only wish is to have been there to drink the Jagg with John and Siegy. I would have loved to have watched my spheres happily collide with one another.)

I’m not sure what it was – the marriage, the return to school, or just the extended amount of time I have now lived in Nova Scotia, but in this past year I have finally found myself not necessarily “making new friends,” but accepting the ones I’ve had already, and feeling entirely comfortable and honoured to be in other peoples’ spheres of lives. Thanks, John, for your touching words. There is no need to respond. Its besides the point.

Written by mitchellirons

December 20, 2004 at 12:30 am

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