International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating those people whose love and kindness have changed our lives. Our friends are the people who understand our strangeness and love us anyway.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
“We’ll be Friends forever won’t we Pooh?” and Pooh answered,
I met him in a club. We danced and danced all night but I didn’t get his phone number. A few weeks later he walked into my office. I was 18 years old and I’d met my soul mate. We went out dancing again and we talked all night. He invited me over to his house and I lay on his bed while he read me Kerouac. We spent hours in his bed reading authors we loved and listening to music we could go out and dance to. He was a Dj so I’d give him all the records I could get my hands on at work.
A year later I moved overseas. He sent me mix tapes and postcards he had made with funny pictures and collages because the internet wasn’t invented. I loved hearing about his adventures. I sent him the daggiest, most kitsch postcards I could find in India, Greece and Spain and England. Two years later his postcards stopped coming and I never heard from him again.
In 1992 I walked down King Street Newtown and looked at a portion of the AIDS quilt in a shop window. Then I saw his name embroidered into the quilt. My beautiful friend
My darling friend had died and I didn’t know. I was too young and selfish and rude and too far away to find out. I wasn’t there for him as he was dying of the most godawful disease. I think of him when I hear the song Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, when I hear New Order, when I notice my old 1940s copy of On The Road by Jack Kerouac on the bookshelf. Veljko introduced me to Kerouac and Ginsberg and dance music mixes. Thank you darling for the joy you gave me. We were only close friends for a short time but you taught me that we don’t know what we’ve got ’til it’s gone. Love only love my darling sunny happy friend.