I can’t pinpoint one outstanding memory when I think about my longest lovely friendship. Meeting my school friend in Grade 1 and are still so very close now. I want to explore the the beauty of a 45 year friendship and then examine what a loss in my life it would be not having that friendship.
My friend has a much better memory than I do. In fact it’s like a steel trap. I expect some corrections from my vague earlier memories and possibly from even more recent ones too. So glad she’s a dedicated historical hobbyist.
I only have one memory from Grade 1. I am in a classroom with my beloved Mrs Manthey and we are learning about how important it is to bring a hanky to school everyday otherwise you are a piggy sniffle. That’s it. Zip, zilch, nada, nil, nothing. I can remember one year at a fete doing the maypole dance and thinking how beautiful my dancing was. Ballroom dancing lessons under the school building. Sports day walking to Kitchener Park and playing softball then racing home to jump in the pool.
Right through to Grade 5 my bestie was there. We were each other’s biggest fans but I do recall our fights too. Stuffed if I know what they were over, but we always got over them very quickly and got back into the swing of our friendship. My friend has the best laugh in the world. One boy in our year made it his mission to make her laugh. If you got her on a roll she would gasp for air and just make a cack sound everytime she drew breath. No other sound. This was always gold.
I find our friendship comforting. She’s not my sister, but she knows everything about me. We choose to be friends because we dig each other. She is funny and intelligent and capable of amazing debates. In fact I would not take her on in any debate. We have had family holidays together. Done some traveling together. Nursed each other through sad times and celebrated our children’s births and wonderful moments.
I simply can’t imagine my life without her in it. She has lived interstate since we were ten. The fact our friendship survived is as much a testament to our letter writing skills as it is to our parents funding the early interstate flights for visits. For 40 of our 45 years we have lived in different states.
I know from a rational point of view the large vast gaps I imagine would be filled with different people and experiences but my heart chooses to not imagine that. It sees a barren desert larger than the Sahara. Yes I know if you are reading this oh friend you’ll be bending the arm, wine in hand and rolling your eyes. Roll away love. I am very thankful to have you as an amigo.
There would be no Nobby’s Beach, no umpteen Cockroaches live gigs, oh I would happily not have gone through that awful tequila hangover that time, no me freezing in York, or Great Ocean Road, listening to JJJ and thanks for all the music recommendations by the way. Your parents are like my second parents. Although I was deadly scared of Brenda as a child.
No universal loathing of certain people from primary school who were bullies. All those drinking sessions in Newtown – gone. No shaboom shaboom la la la la la la. No Trend Dance school. No Wikety Wak. No Isabel necessary on a bike – although that was your sister’s moment to shine. No Grease 2 everyday for three weeks at Nobby’s Beach. No Nobby’s Beach pavlova. No drunken walk along the beach and falling down 3 metres of eroded beach. Lost a bit of skin that time. No small little lovely conversations. No comfortable silences and no red circle dates to be celebrated on our calendar.
I don’t want to write about the absence of you in my life. Apart from those who share my DNA or my surname you are the most important person in my life and always will be.