Dear Far-Flung Friends,
First of all, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t stayed in touch. I’m sorry I can’t reach out and touch you. There are a million things I want to ask you, but the main one is, how are you? Really, I mean. I mean it. Don’t say fine. Don’t say good. Don’t say, you know how it is. I don’t know how it is. Tell me everything. Are you sleeping okay? Are you eating? Are you looking out of the window and wanting to scream? It’s okay. I am too.
I know sometimes silence can be loud. Not in the way all those poets describe as deafening, as beautiful, but loud like static without cause.
I hope your thoughts aren’t too loud. I hope you give them space to breathe.
Did you get my postcard? I’m sorry I haven’t sent another. Scrawled another wish you were here. As if I’m standing on a sandy beach with my toes in the water instead of here. Toes clenched around the edge of a cliff-face.
I’ll Facebook message you, I promise. I promise I’ll do better, this lockdown around. Take a spaceship across the star-crossed void. I’ll even stop the bad metaphors, I promise. I think I’ve forgotten how to talk to you.
Truth be told, I miss you. (Do you remember? We used to sing that song at the top of our voices – god, I miss your voice). Sometimes, being pushed away by nothing but circumstance is crueller than a choice.
I’m proud of you. Have I told you that lately? For the new job, for the new flat, for still trying, for existing. I promise I’ll tell you that more. I promise that I’ll hug you the minute I’m with you and refuse to let go.
The minute I’m with you I know it’ll be like nothing ever changed. The same bad jokes, the same old stories, the same nights curled up close with gin and pizza. But a little quieter. A little softer. We’ll give each other more breaks. We know our friendship can take some little cracks; we’ll glue them back together with gold.
Stay safe. Don’t put pressure on yourself (like I know you do). Dance around the room like we do when I’m with you. Treat yourself kindly. Tell me you’re okay, when you can. Take it day by day.
I miss you. I hope – I know – I’ll see you soon.
I wish you were here.