I’ve been one lucky lady when it comes to the friends in my life (oh come on now, don’t be shy! You know who you are!). I have more than my share, if there is such a thing. And a little while ago, I thought I’d “maxed out” – there was no room at the inn, or on my Christmas card list, or in my mobile, or in my email account, or in my diary. It’s hard enough getting together with my oldest friends – trying to accommodate new ones, well, that’s just asking for trouble. That’s a total pain. Go away, new people! That’s what I thought. I can’t befriend you! Stop that! Just cut it out! Stop making me like you! But people insinuate their way into my heart in such a lot of ways that every now and again, I’m simply caught out on the full.
This happened with the Darklings, as you know. I fell for my writing girls hard, and now we have our Virtual Varuna, where we exchange and talk about our manuscripts online. I am so glad and grateful for them that I very nearly gush when someone asks me how it’s all going. And they don’t spare the rod, either. There’s no coddling of any sort. To be perfectly honest I would have liked just a little bit of patting on the head, because it would be quite soothing – yes, yes, tell me again how you liked that bit best, and then tell me what else you liked, go on – even though I know it’s better for me, and much better for my manuscript, that I don’t get it. But they don’t indulge my vanities or pander to my sometimes near-crippling insecurities at all, forcing me to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back down to business. And I like to think I am doing the same thing for each of them. Certainly I am trying to, because I know how much I’m getting out of what they give to me. And I think that’s a pretty profound level of friendship for people who have only known each other two months. There’s so much trust. Maybe it was the intensity of the week, maybe we got lucky, who knows? All I know is, you do adjust the net, and it turns out there’s a few holes for extra friends to slip through after all.
Which is a good thing, really, because I’ve gone and done it again. Honestly, life would be much simpler if the world was full of arseholes. As it is, shit, you can’t move an inch without bumping into someone great. It’s EXHAUSTING. Oh I like you, and you, and yes, you too, oh, please, here’s my card, write, we must have drinks, fantastic, oh, yes, it was great to meet you too! Of course I’m talking about the Jakarta Junketeers. More. Cool. People. More potential f-words. You know, friends. How did that happen? I was determined that this time I really wouldn’t make any friends. I’d be aloof. Keep to myself. Stay out of trouble. Sit. On. My. Hands. But could I do it? No. I could not. I did not. I befriended, and it was good.