six: friend

i don’t even know where to start with this one. except the word’s been prickling behind my eyes all day, every time i think about it. because of course, i can’t help but think about you, pocketbrit, as my best one of these…and also about how this word in no way does  justice to what you mean to me.

i have always been someone who was friendly with lots of people. i have loads of people who are my ‘friends’ in some way, but very very few people who i feel truly know me. and maybe that’s the point, that friends are those people with whom you share some things, and that there is another name for those people with whom you share nearly everything. maybe friend does not capture that.

but i guess i want to talk about the people in that second nebulous, unnameable group. because it is those kind of relationships, with intimate emotional connections, with trust and love and tears and heartache and communication and hard work, that i want close. they are who i want nearby for the good and the rotten, the silly and the traumatic, the short-term and the fifty years (lest i still be kicking in my 90s) hence.

the woman with whom i share this blog is someone who knows more of me than i’ve ever shared before with a ‘friend’. she has seen me…so so low. like, not-wanting-to-be-here-anymore low. she knows things that nearly no one else does. is present for me in a way i have very rarely experienced, for which i am endlessly grateful. i have never cried so much in the presence of anyone, other than my therapist and wife (and possibly my mother, when i was an infant and had no other way to communicate) than i have with her. tears just come out, so easily. at this point, it’s a bit of a joke between us…and i know it’s coz given how i am now, it’s so hard for her to believe that for the years and years and years before her, i just held it all in. bit my lip and sealed it all up until i could maybe let out a few frustrated, angry tears behind closed doors, in solitude, every couple of months. i just didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t cry. my spontaneous teariness/weepiness/general messiness is all she’s ever known from me, so it’s not her fault that she doesn’t understand. and i can never find the words to tell her how much it means to me, how being able to feel, and share how i feel, is like a gift that i had no idea was possible for me. and giving it, is also one of the biggest gifts to myself…

the most completely bizarre thing about us is that we have never, ever met in person. i know, i can’t believe it either. it’s so so weird and wrong. and, to date, we have also never, ever video-called each other. never actually seen our responses to the other’s words. never actually interacted, in the way two people do in each other’s presence, with all five of our senses. and yet…and yet, though i look forward to enriching our experience of each other by meeting face to face…what i’ve realized today is that i don’t even need it. i don’t actually need it to be any different from how it is – it is just right, as is, this very moment.

sweetest pocketbrit is a part of my daily existence, she is a part of my heart, she is more real and present for me than than people i have known for years. she is one of the people i want closest. she is so so silly (in her britishness, for certain, but in other ways too), so wonderful, sensitive, gentle and sweet. she is smart and kind and lovely. she feels like one of the three loves of my life.

(writing that made the words go so so squiggly for a few minutes)

(like quite a few minutes, as in, i’m going to be horrendously late posting this as a result)

so this post, dear one, is one of the easiest yet one of the hardest ones to write. because our word today was friend…but what we have here? is beyond what i could have hoped for, in any way deserve, and something for which i will forever and ever have gratitude. i love you, pocketbrit, and wouldn’t be without you.

Purple Heart on Google Android 9.0


The first thing that came into my head this morning when I read the word for today was the ridiculous toy story song, you’ve got a friend in me. And I can’t remember if there’s actually any more lyrics to it (there must be, surely?!) but I just had that same annoying sentence going round and round in my head to it’s tune. So that put an end to my lie in (you try sleeping with that annoying tune), which was kind of infuriating given I didn’t get to sleep until 3am and it was finally my chance to sleep in. So, having now put that tune in your head (you’re welcome), I’ll carry on.

So I’m just not really the kind of person to have lots of friends, more like just a couple of very good ones. And I’ve got 3 of those.

A friend I went to school with, whose family I loved, and with whom I was inseparable. Who’s exceptionally smart, bright, endearing, charming, kind, focused, beautiful and loving. She’s messy, wellies and dirty hands, hair tied up. She’s my sister, for all intensive purposes. And yet I feel too scared to tell her about my past, to which I know she will have caring for, as I know how she personally relates. I will one day…every time I see her I feel one step closer to doing so, but just not yet. 

A friend I met at University and then lived with. Funny, social, self-deprecating, a full face of makeup and dressed up. My opposite in that sense. Caring, and joking, and so bloody funny. The same sense of humour, at our own expenses. Trustworthy, and trusted, yet unable to personally relate and uncomfortable with the tougher stuff.

My dearest pc. Met online, through a forum. Older, half a world away, and yet the strongest attraction to her. A huge pull to get to know her, and her me. To have her in my life. I’ve saved the best to last here… She’s funny, and kind, and beautiful, and loving, and generous. So smart, perceptive, wonderful. I’m so glad I private messaged her one day, because I needed to talk to her more, she was the person I needed to get to know. And oh my, we got to know each other. And sometimes it’s so incredibly hard. Like she reminded me just this week; we have the loops to each other’s hooks. It’s hard, it gets messy, and yet we’re in it for the long haul. Daily texts, long phone calls where 2 hours can go by so quick. Photos and videos. She is a constant grounding presence in my life, and she is safety to me. She will listen, provide smart insights, just be with you quietly. When you’re sad or scared, or just needing to not be alone, she’s got you. And she knows, she has similar wounds that break my heart for the sweet little one she was. She gets it. And she is healing to me. Her presence and her words, both. Her letting me in and letting me be there.

So, despite it not being the conventional way to meet, and despite it being under the worst circumstances, I wouldn’t give up having pc in my life for anything. She is so very real, and honest, and the most beautiful presence in my life. In fact, she’s saved my life. So this post is for you, dear friend. I wouldn’t be without you. You pull me out from the worst depths, stay with me, and love me no matter what. I love you such a massive amount, more than you even know, and this post, though probably any post, just doesn’t do justice to it.

You’ve got a friend in me, okay? And I know just how great a friend I have in you 💜💜 💜