Letters from Home

A Friend of Mine

Out of the blue, I got a call/voice mail from T. Mallie the other day.

It was one of those lovely long rambling messages in which she updated me on her job status and her life and her hairstyle and the general feelings of things on the Other Coast.

Last time I laid eyes on T. Mallie was in London. She was travelling just to travel — she’s an ace at that sort of thing — and made her way to see me, along with her son Daniel. We went to the Tate Modern together.  Adrian came along one day, too.

Mallie and I met way back in College. She’s the sort of friend who sticks with you, even when you hardly see each other anymore. The sort  of friend that pops up at odd times– just when you need a travel buddy or phone call. She arrived to meet me after I’d been 4 weeks lonely in Italy, for example.

There are some people we meet and they are our friends. They attach to our lives and become a part of who we know ourselves to be. We have stories, and they the main characters. Immediately you are thinking of a friend of yours in your life. I am too. I do not need to names my friends here: they know who they are.

Of course, there are some people we meet who are friends, too, but not quite the same. They help us through. They fill our time. They listen and give to us. But we aren’t going to be with them forever. That’s O.K. We are grateful for them too.

Anyway, it’s often hard to say which is which until after we walk away.

Yesterday, driving home from swimming, I was thinking about Marcy and Heather and Karin: these are my bookclub friends here. I think it’s my turn to schedule bookclub but, sigh, you know how life and vacations and family members and work and kids sort of shuffle time around.

Thinking of them, makes me think of my bookclub friends from London, too.

Hey girls, just wanted to tell you– it’s 5:30 a.m. And I’m sending you a message. Good morning.