A Friend in Need… I mean, in Town, is a Friend Indeed

February 8, 2007 at 2:27 am (Uncategorized)

If I seem a little distracted (ie. no post yesterday), it’s because one of my best and oldest friends is in town. Kate, her baby bump, and her boyfriend descended into a very overcast Sydney bright and early Tuesday morning, and I’ve been making the most of having them here. When they flew to Verona from London to see us for the weekend in Italy, we were there at the airport with our snazzy little Alpha Romeo rental to pick them up. Tuesday, we were there in Tara’s car. At 6:20 in the morning. It must be love. As Stuart said as they emerged “This is great – you two provide an international service!”

A couple of airport pick-ups really seems like the least we can do, given Kate’s repeated ability to astound and amaze us with regular appearances under highly improbable circumstances. Yes, we saw her regularly when we lived in London, she’s English, after all, but what were the chances of her being in Sydney in time for our engagement party? I would have said nil, but for the fact that she was there. And what were the chances of her making it back seven months later for the wedding? Hmmm… nil? Wrong again. She wrote and delivered a reading. And even Italy seemed too good to be true – would they really fly in just to spend two nights with us? Yes, they would. And yes, they did.

So Kate’s one of those friends who just makes everything seem infinitely possible. She simply brushes aside the hardships of a long-distance friendship with a gay laugh and a jaunty wave of the hand. For some reason, it’s really easy being friends with her. We’ve known each other well for about 18 years now, and she’s one of those rare people I have never had a single hiccup with, not one. Not when we’ve shared a bathroom, or had too much to drink, or tried to get something done on too little sleep, or sorted out a bill, or found ourselves locked behind bars in some strange underground bar in Melbourne’s CBD by two crazy lesbian publicans (circa June 2004). Admittedly, that last was a little panicky.

If you’re someone who, like me, has friends scattered around the planet – and you probably are, because as far as I can tell, everybody is in the same boat these days – then you know how pathetic it is being reduced to emails, the odd ‘phone call, and the faintly ridiculous Christmas cards scooting across time zones from one person who is completely without religion to another. It’s bordering on the absurd that we even bother. I am missing out on their lives. I do not know their children. In some cases, I’m not even sure what they look like anymore. And they’re the good friends. What are we supposed to feel for each other? Really, what?

I don’t know about other people, I can only speak for myself. I still “feel the love.” And when I do see these people, as we somehow manage to criss-cross rather than star-cross our way into them again, it’s not nostalgia I feel. Certainly it’s not nostalgia I feel when I see Kate. I feel plenty of things, actually, but one of them is absolutely recognition. I know her, and she knows me, and in a city like Sydney – which some reduce to nothing but surfaces and gleam – that’s not just love, that’s relief.



  1. RB said,

    Give Kate a big hug and kiss the bump for me. It is amazing how we do manage to see each other from time to time, and awesome how we can connect again :-).

  2. doctordi said,

    Will do (although I’m not sure about kissing the bump – it’s Kate’s stomach!!), and absolutely, agreed!


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