One of my oft repeated phrases now is ‘I’m so busy’, followed by some qualifier like ‘flat out’, ‘full on’. Even saying these words deprives me of a few seconds when I could consider myself, however briefly, to be not busy. And when I say I am busy, it is of course relative. I do not commute, I have a pleasant twenty minute stroll to work. I only work one job and although I work hard, my hours are not excessive. I rarely travel for my work. I belong to no clubs. I do not have children. No house to renovate. I do not even have any pets, just a solitary chilli plant that I water occasionally and turn half degrees towards sunlight and some kitsch plastic animals that I sometimes dust and rearrange depending on my fancy.
Why is it then that I feel so busy? Why is it that I don’t seem to have the time to call my friends that I love and miss?
I was never busy until I turned thirty. This is when it all suddenly felt hectic. I had to buy a diary. My weekends disappeared – gobbled up by biro marks like tombstones on the pages. Maybe I need to relax, block out the noise, learn to manage my time better. Maybe it’s the Internet’s fault. I hate the bloody Internet. Some parasite sucking at my seconds, munching down my minutes in megabytes. Whatever the reason, I am sad that I don’t make the time for you – my friend.
This is an open letter to you all – my scattered friends across the globe.
Let’s begin with a hug. Make it appropriate to the hugs I used to give you plus an extra twenty percent so you know how much I’ve missed you. If I used to squeeze you tight then please adjust the twenty percent down so I don’t hurt you. The last thing I want to do is hurt you.
I miss you. You have no real way of knowing this other than me telling you I do. It doesn’t matter when we became friends, how long ago it was when I last saw you, or when we last spoke – I miss you in my life. You are funny. You are warm and wonderful in numerous ways – some of which you are not even aware of. You are considerate. You are intelligent. You are silly and serious. You cook a fine fry up. Can nail a nice brew. It’s nice to share a drink with you. You enrich my life in many ways. You make me a better person. You make me aware of how good it is to be alive when you are around. I just can’t call you or see you as much as I should. I’m sorry.
I’m doing well by the way. I live in a nice place. I have nice things. I earn enough money to buy vinyl, go to gigs, eat ok and do fun frivolous things once in a while. And yep, I still love a bargain. I still wear vintage shirts and yes, they still teeter on the edge of ludicrous. I have a fiancee. She is wonderful. You’d love her. I’m still the same shape. My hair is pretty much the same, with the addition of some grey. I look older than in the photographs of us together but then don’t we all. You’d recognise me for sure.
Anyway, enough about me – how the hell are you? What you up to? Where are you living now? Kids? Partners? Spouses? Houses? Adventures? Tell me – are you happy? I want to hear about it all. I want to hear your voice, your laughter. I want to see you.
I miss you.
From now on, I am going to call my friends more often. This is a promise to myself and to you. It starts now. Time to get busy.