One of my dearest friends called me last night. I almost always let it go to voice-mail, but decided it has been far too long since I had spoken with her.
“Hello?” I said quietly. (In this day of Caller ID, why haven’t we given up the question mark?)
A short 5 second pause, and then, “I love you!”
My instant response was I love you, too.
Picture the Grinch’s heart growing by a few sizes.
She has a way of staying calm, even in the worst of situations. She accepts things with an attitude I am still struggling to achieve. She has her own health problems, yet somehow finds the energy to raise 4 kids and work full-time. She is happy with her life now, in spite of it all.
We had lost each other for a time, but after being reunited again, took over right where we left off.
She had been my neighbor back in the days of my ex. I can’t recall just how many times I gave her the nod to call the cops through her screen window that overlooked my yard. She knew him, and loathed him. We have that bond, both of us living a miserable life at the same time, within earshot. We both agree it seems like a lifetime ago.
We discussed how ones life can be broken into segments, or if you are feeling theatrical, acts. Mine are broken down into 4, with the 5th starting now.
My friend hates texting and chatting online, saying that it is too impersonal. She never gives up calling me, and leaves me cute voice messages every time I don’t answer.
The thing about El, she just lets you talk. I don’t have to muster fake bravado, or feel like I am monopolizing the conversation. It’s easy to be totally honest with her, without the fear that she will feel sorry for me.
“I’m not going to blow rainbows up your ass, it’s bad,” I said.
“Aw, why not? It’s okay, I know.”
I usually boycott phone calls, my mother being the only exception. I have such a low voice, I find myself repeating half of what I say. I hate awkward pauses, and then I end up blithering like an idiot to fill them in.
But last night, I realized that I needed to hear her voice. I felt lighter after we hung up, with promises that I would call her anytime I needed to complain. She was all ears. I had missed her laugh, and her humor, as warped, if not more, than my own.
Maybe I need to answer more often.