Guess how much …

At the risk of destroying the dark tone this blog usually takes (or perhaps as an attempt to avoid self-imposed typecasting), I am casting aside a post about the universe’s bizarre sense of humour / timing in favour of something brighter.

There are a lot of emotions I struggle with, because they are largely foreign to me. Likewise, there are various events that are no doubt commonplace for others, but rare enough for me to catch me off-guard and leave me unsure how to react. It is a mix of too much introspection, and too much time spent studying people throughout my life in an attempt to understand why people are as they are, instead of, you know, actually relating to their humanity. I should just be able to react, and that is that … but I can’t. I would say it is not in my nature, but that is not true; it’s simply the conditioning.

Anyhow, I received a certain gift this past Christmas. Travelling from so far away, it took its sweet time getting here … and then I likewise delayed actually opening it. I placed it reverently atop what I can assure you was (and presumably still is) a clean pile of washing on a chair in the middle of my … well, I suppose you would say it is my bedroom. (It was purposed as a living room; I pretend the open kitchenette attached is an opulent extravagance – “Oh, you have a mini fridge in your bedroom … How quaint.”) I looked at this package every morning, and every evening, and every time I passed through the room. Sometimes I just went to that room with the express purpose of eyeing it off, and pondering. Savouring. Delighting. Feeling as though the world would change dramatically if I actually dared to open it.

I felt this gift needed some sort of due process, perhaps even some small opening ceremony (the price of ribbon these days is quite extortionate, and don’t get me started on those oversized scissors one should cut it with; am I a market of one?!) but above all, I felt it required timing. So I delayed it through several tempestuous days of unpleasant emotions; it became a small island of reprieve. I took to imagining it as such, and did my best not to look at the postage so I could imagine stamps from a nation of one, commemorating hills that we ran up and a successful (though terrible) war on sauerkraut, which I generally think of as ‘dish made of stuff that wasn’t good enough for hot dogs’. I did manage to curb my enthusiasm and not surround it with water; my carpet and (I assume) my neighbours are thankful for that.

It seemed like many gifts; that it existed at all was some kind of marvel. Any time I receive items by post (which is disturbingly often; online shopping is such a gift to we hermits), I like to consider how many people must have collaborated to bring it to me, from the producers of the raw materials through to my mate, the postie. It’s quite a thought at any time … but purchases of some cheap curio from Hong Kong are impersonal, unfeeling – at least, as far as I know; I watched a heartbreaking documentary about a young girl in a jeans manufacturer’s sweatshop in China, and the poor little dear wrote a note about her life and put it in one of the pairs of jeans. It was hopelessly cheerful and friendly and longing, written under such terrible conditions … Needless to say, my partner and I decided to go denim shopping the next day (or rather, denim examining, just in case …)

But I digress. Story of my life, as it were.

All these people working together to bring an expression of love and care and respect from it’s original location, halfway around the world, so that I might … stare at it suspiciously every time I walked past. It would possibly be a moving image, if I was not such a difficult character.

So finally, today, I opened it. And it was as overwhelmingly wonderful



… as I had expected, and so much more. What was unexpected was an interruption when I originally sat to write this, a month ago. It has sat in a note on my desktop ever since, but got lost in the clutter.

It did not get lost in either my heart or my mind, though. I thought of it often, and wondered what else I should, nay, could say.

I came up short (a rarity for one as tall as I), and concluded that nothing more could be said that would do any justice to this gesture; I know not enough elegance to express it.

It is a unique friendship, and although we spend a lot of time calling each other crazy, we mean it in the fondest of terms. It is our secret handshake, our knowing wink. There shall only ever be two members of our cabal, the PFC. And yet we are as opposites in our tastes and preferences. We are an odd complement, each to the other.

And yet, for so many reasons, it makes for a beautiful friendship.

So let this speak where I cannot, this adoration, this respect, this warmth.


(And of course, it also requires a postal reply, which has already been conceived … Now it merely awaits creation. And yes, at least two of those tags are her fault.)


~ by thedyingmoments on February 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “Guess how much …”

  1. … thank you for this. so beautiful.

  2. just read this again.

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