Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A Journey

Somehow two weeks have slipped by without me writing a word here, and as I now sit in front of my laptop, I still don't know what is is I have to say. But, I do feel like typing.

It's been an odd couple of weeks which culminated in a very unplanned day out. A morning coffee turned into a day of confessions, sharing of heartaches and much fun.

I have a friend whose heart is broken. We found him on his own in the pub on Saturday afternoon in a pitiful state. He was brave and tired.

He met a girl in the US a few months ago. A relationship and anticipation began. He's just returned from her. When he set off he never doubted that a plan would be made, that he'd found he girl of his dreams. His 'one'.

He told us his story of days at the zoo and walking in new places, of promise and the future. Tears so close we couldn't hug him, he had to just keep talking without interference.

This vision was quickly robbed from him as it all started to fall to pieces. The girl sounds unsettled, insecure. The reasons why of the tale don't really matter.

What matters is that he tried. He believed in the dream and travelled thousands of miles to find out if she would share it with him. He still believes that one day he will be loved in the way he so much wants. Despite the failed relationships of his past, he's moving towards that person.

I admire him. He is scared and still keeps trying. He is braver than me, who hides from the very risks that are worth taking and doesn't really believe that she will ever be loved.
We ended the evening a group of single frineds, relying on each other for solace and companionship - an alternative family - laughing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Trust: Reality and Blogging again

I've always written this anonymously. It's a private diary: a recording of days, feelings and memories that make up my journey. Part of me needs an outlet, writing lets me figure out what is going on in my head, to process , make decisions and find my voice. The other part of me wants to mark my way, like Hansel and Gretel dropping pebbles to leave a trail The path from here to there.

There are people who I've never met who have read my thoughts and moved on, others stop by leaving their words and drawing me into a community of sorts.

There are a few people in my real world who know how to find this place, none where I live. Three of them are amongst my closest girlfriends, and they are abroad, and I know won't judge. Two others I shared this with on a whim. One, an ex boyfriend, has read perhaps more than he'd like about himself over the months. Another is new and I've yet to discover if he'll ever stop by, remember how to find me here or keep this trust. Can he keep my secret? It makes me nervous. However, I must remember that this place is important to me, and mostly of little interest to others.

Sharing my blog presents two risks;

1.Someone will read about themselves and be unhappy. Some people would not want these stories told or like what they read. But, it's my place and my thoughts and I won't tailor events to suit the sensitivities of the reader. I need to do this.

2.By allowing in people I know in flesh and bone, I risk other people from my everyday life finding what is here – my secrets, anger or sadnesses. Is that so bad? Or, would I find myself editing the things I most need to scribble about? It takes things dangerously close to reality, and equally enables some folk to see the real person. Sometimes happy, sometimes reflective, sometimes angry and venting.
I don't trust so easily and sharing this takes me one step closer to opening up and showing the world who I am. Trust inherently involves risk, and it's something I need to learn to do. I want to be able to trust enough to continue to write freely.

It makes me feel very vulnerable.

Comforting, mundane

There is a strange bond of understanding and friendship that grows amongst those whose paths only cross in hospital wards.

As our parents and spouses ramble, wail or shut down, lost in alternate worlds trapped by dementia, we do our best to find some kind of normal. Amidst the chaos or stubborn silence we dare not voice our losses, instead holding on to the daily pleasantries that help to make us feel better and connect beyond neurological meltdown.

Behind the painted on smiles for our loved ones and each other, there is only grief and memories they can no longer share. We all see the sadness and smile with each other nonetheless. There is no other way.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Words, believed or otherwise

I've known him a while but it's been ages since we've seen each other. We skirt around different edges of a group of friends. It's great to see him. He is attractive, cheeky, and so very easy to talk to.

It is still early-ish and no-one is drunk yet. Well, apart from the guy who's been asleep at the table after peaking way, way too early in the evening.

We talk about life and love and all that stuff, and he tells me I am feisty, clever and sexy. I am surprised.

We all carry on to another pub and a band, and still we only really talk to each other. He flirts, in front of our friends. I try to dismiss his chatter as affable sport. He apologises for flirting, and continues nonetheless.He tells me 'you've got me'. I don't know how to respond. I am so very curious.

He is a musician whose songs were part of my teens and twenties. He's bohemian and creative. We go home and he plays the guitar bought for an ex, a present returned.

I like his mind, I like his hands.

His words keep coming. Words of attraction, connection and flattery. I want to believe him. I want to be all those things he tells me I am. 

I am not sure I believe him. Perhaps I am some of these things?

If he is telling the truth, it was passionate and dangerous territory. If he is spinning me a line, he is a convincing bad boy and I have enjoyed his game.

Either way, I was tempted and he is not mine.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Letter to an ex flatmate, former friend

I don't know what to do. You write or email every few months. Your last, a month ago, telling me you had dreamt about me twice. I don't respond. I don't know how to.

Still, you keep trying.

You don't understand why we don't speak any more, and I doubt you ever will. I wish you could, but you are too self absorbed.

I was excited when you moved to Scotland. I looked forward to getting you back. I looked forward to rediscovering the fun and talk of hopes, politics, dreams, men and history that we'd had as flatmates, university chums from the start. I introduced you to my network that you adopted as your own. I found you a room in a house with my friends. It was wonderful to have you back.

I listened to you for hours with patience and kindness as your relationships fell to pieces, minor blips happened at work, all sorts of 'dramas' occurred.

I didn't mind listening and counselling you. We trusted each other and it's what friends are for. But, eventually it, you, became a burden when I couldn't even carry the weight of my own problems.

When my life changed, you'd ask after my sick parents but you didn't ask me how I was. Not that I remember anyway. I moved to my home city and we spoke often. You visited me too.

When you did come, you could only talk about yourself. You couldn't listen.

I was falling to pieces and you didn't see that one of your best friends was coming apart at the seams. I don't know if I knew how to tell you. I still struggle to tell people now when I'm all at sea. That is not your fault.

I tried to tell you I needed you, and you didn't understand what that meant. I tired to explain why I was upset with you, you couldn't see my point of view. I was always the strong one, the care taker. The shoes didn't fit the other way round.

It has been two and half years since I last saw you. Less since we last spoke. I miss you, but I don't know if I will ever write back.

I think about you often.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Letter to an ex lover former friend 2

I have a scar on my wrist, less visible than it was.

Earlier this year you told me it was a 'cat scratch' and dismissed it. It didn't hurt. I still don't know how I got it. It was just there, bloody and red. Bold, painless.

After we decided our friendship was at an end, I thought 'by the time this fades, I will have forgotten about you'. It's still there, less so than before.


Each time I think you are in my past, your name appears in unexpected places.

Your voice has interrupted my day through radio 4. Your name has appeared in professional circles. Your county appears in my work conversations, them knowing I know a little of the region and some of its players. I can't not make a recommendation if I need to when the question comes round in earnest, there is a bigger picture of community well being that I cannot be selfish about.

This evening, over a casual and unexpected drink, a mutual acquaintance told me he'd met my friend.

But, you're no longer my friend. You're no longer the person who gets my inner geek and is excited about all those things.

You're no longer the person I trusted with my heartfelt sadnesses, silence and dreams.

There are many we meet and pass time with. There are many we meet and whose company is to be enjoyed, embraced even. There are few, however, we trust easily. There are few who understand. You were one of those few, I thought. My naivete perhaps.

You are one of the few, fortunately, who have betrayed my friendship, my trust, hurt me.

You are someone who the thought of makes me sad that you are no longer part of my life.

Will I always have a scar?  Do you even care?