Saturday, March 10

Old Friends

My husband suddenly said today, "You know I haven't heard from X for ages, I must get in touch with him...." " Great idea" I said, and meant it, because X is a nice guy. Trouble is after Id said that I realised that X was not aware of my situation, and so I will have to go through the familiar routine of a question and answer session at some point and thats if I'm lucky.
Time flies by us all, and its easy to realise that we haven't been in touch with someone for a long time, suddenly their children are now starting school, we all have new jobs, different houses, new beginnings, and oh yes of course I'm the one in the wheelchair. I know Ive mentioned this before, but some old friends remain just that, OLD friends, not current or ongoing friends, but those stuck firmly in the past, because they seem to find me very difficult to talk to me all of a sudden. Everything is stilted, conversation doesn't flow, the only thing they can see is this giant Alice in Wonderland wheelchair filling up the room, its no wonder they cant look me in the eye!
So I had a nice surprise this week in that an old friend called me out of the blue. We were at Uni together and lived in the same house. I live in Northumberland and am disabled, he lives in the centre of Tel Aviv and has a busy life. In fact we couldn't have lives farther part from each other in every way. We have somehow managed to keep in touch all this time picking up every time from where we left off. So he took the news of my incapacity with a certain sanguiness which is the best sort of reaction for me. It didn't make me feel as if Id sprouted 2 heads, the conversation didn't just stop in mid flow, it was fun, it made me feel good, it was rather nostalgically like old times. I think the sign of a true friendship is that you can just pick up from where you left off, even if a lot of time has past between you both. Its rare and I think you only meet a couple of people in your life time you can do this with. For the most part I think our friends ships are very much ships that pass in the night.

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