2006-07-06 - 3:56 p.m.

Second entry of the day, look back to see what you missed but now:

It’s weird how people pop up in your life.

I have some friends that I see or talk to in evenly spread out intervals, once a week, once every two weeks, once a month, whatever. Then I have other “friends” that I see that are more situational. They’re more like acquaintances but when we’re together it feels like friends most of the time. They’re people I see when I’m in a certain place or talking on a certain message board. They stay in their situation.

Then I have some friends who are cluster friends. I don’t see them for ages but then when I do it’s all clustered up. We’ll be together every minute, or talking on the phone or IM’ing for hours on end for days, weeks and then without warning or prompting usually it falls away just as suddenly as it came on and we won’t talk again for an indeterminate length of time. This isn’t because of some fight or disagreement. It occasionally has to do with how busy one or both of us become but there’s never any question that at some point in the future we’ll cluster up again.

I say friends. In a few cases, most cases in fact, my cluster type friends are more than friends. They fall into the “hard to describe in a few words” relationship category.

I bring it up because lately a couple of clusters have reared their heads.

Don has been texting me and calling me, leaving me messages to call him back. I thought I was doing a good job of ignoring it and not letting it get to me until I had a rather vivid dream about him the other night.

Knowing that talking to him would prove painful & do nothing to further resolution of our ongoing issues, I did what any good drama queen would do. I rented a movie he was in, watched until I cried and then called his brother to find out what he wanted.

His brother didn’t know but offered to find out.

Turns out he “misses me” and “wanted to hear my voice”.

His brother told him to leave me alone or risk an ass kicking.

Sometimes I forget how much I love his brother. (Probably because his brother makes the same bonehead choices when it comes to women)

Of course, never one to take orders D called me again. I answered this time and was argumentative on the phone. I hope he isn’t reading this.

It was right up close to impossible to be so evil with him when everything about his voice melts me down to a puddle of girly goo.

Yeah, I miss him too. Yeah, hearing his voice was fantastic. The same way a fistful of m&m’s are fantastic right before you remember that the factory was shut down for being filled with mouse droppings.

I resisted the urge to say “How does your WIFE feel about that?” as an answer to every question. I think this deserves some sort of reward.

I guess I got a reward though, in a way.

Today I got a call from a different cluster. A happier cluster. A balming cluster.

Charley called.

He had nothing important to say, in fact my best guess is that he was ripe with alcohol (or something) because he was very philosophical and slurry but he reminded me of some old times I’d forgotten.

Charley is a master with words. He starts to reminisce out loud and within moments I’m transported. I can smell the stale beer and the fresh cut grass, hear the splashing in a hotel pool and the kids voices as they argue over who’s going down the slide first. I feel the cool of the shade as I move from a balcony into a hotel room, the way the carpet feels soft and welcoming under my feet, bare and burning from the deck. I remember the stillness inside the room and the way it washed over us when he closed the sliding door and I can remember almost every word of the conversation we had that took us from laughing over his daughter’s latest fashion statement to crying over people we’ve said goodbye to.

Charl is my favorite travel agent, even when he isn’t reliving memories. Sometimes he can just be talking about what he’s had for supper, or how Lula is creating havoc in the back garden and just the tone of his voice or something in the way he exhales can put my whole self at ease. It could be the familiarity, or the trust, or just the fact that so much of the time I spend in his company is free from the anxiety I feel at almost all other times.

When D’s brother tells me he loves me and hangs up the phone this is what I hear:
“I’m worried about you.”

When D finally gets tired of the verbal abuse and quietly tells me he loves me before hanging up on me this is what I hear:
“I don’t know how to fix this.”

When Charley whoops and laughs and says he’s got to run now luv this is what I here:
“I love you.”

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