Lately I’ve been feeling grateful for my friends. Friends who know you inside out. Friends who pick up on the quirks and mannerisms you haven’t yet observed. Friends who see your patterns and sequences and lay out the formula for you. Friends who tell you when you’re being too much, and when you’re not being yourself, because they know you in more ways than you know yourself.
Friends who tell you when you should make a move, and when you’re just being you and this will pass in two weeks. Friends who can’t quite tell because they see you every day, and your perspectives start to overlap. Friends who pick up when this is a big thing, and when this is the real thing, and when you need help, and when you’re holding back.
Friends who listen to your one problem and patiently analyse your one situation, although you already did this last week and nothing has changed. Friends who let you stumble grumpily into the sofa where they wordlessly provide you with breakfast before going back upstairs to get ready for work.
Friends who pop up once a year and manage to fill in the last 12 months, sharing your heartaches and high points, even though you’ve only got an hour, and the traffic was bad, and they’re out of Pimms. Friends who won’t remember that stuff by the time we meet again.
Friends who play music for you. Friends you play music with. The kind of playing where you don’t need to stop and communicate why you’re crying, because they’re crying too, because you hit the same point and you’re sharing the same memory and you’re on the edge of the same sadness, and you had to say goodbye together then, and you’ve got to hold each other up now.
Friends who stay on the line until you fall asleep. Friends who call you up half-drunk and even though you were about to go to bed, you go and make a full curry for them, because you love them, and one day you may need a curry of your own. Friends who pass by for a few months, suffusing your life with newness and laughter. Friends who stay, no matter how difficult and antisocial you get. Friends who love you, more than family, because how could family have possibly observed all the tiny things friends see? We grow up with our families, but we live our lives with our friends. Friends who endure.