Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Silence of the Blog

I apologize for the lack of postings lately. A dear friend of mine was in town and, in addition to distraction, she needed some help with her life. Hopefully, I was able to provide some comfort.

Analise is someone that I met while working for Corbis. She was fairly shy when I first met her and a difficult person to get to know. Patience paid off and the rewards have been great (come to think of it, the same can be said for a couple of people from that place). A few years ago, Annie left Seattle and went to Maui to live. While this sounds exotic, dear reader, Annie grew up on Maui and her parents still live there, so it was more of a return home than chasing the island dream.

Before leaving for the island, Annie held a going away party at her home on Capitol Hill. It wasn't until this party that I realized how much Annie cherished our friendship. I cherished it as well, but really didn't understand until I spoke to Annie's other friends and they said things like, "Oh, you're Richard!" that this bond was shared. It's sad that this revelation was forthcoming on an occasion of departure.

At first, our email exchanges were frequent and lengthy. Time performed it's cleansing task, however, and before long the exchanges were less frequent. Annie was re-establishing life on the island and my life was moving on here as well. During some exchanges, certain knowledge about the writer's life was assumed to be shared with the reader, which made things confusing for said reader. Eventually, our emails tapered off to the point that nothing was exchanged for months. I began to worry a bit about Annie, for the last few exchanges indicated that something was amiss.

Last fall, I was cleaning out my Contacts list in Outlook - deleting email addresses that either are no longer applicable or ones where exchanges have not been made for years. I couldn't delete Annie's email, but rather decided to send her an email with a plea that she reply. She did and our exchanges began again. She tried to get me to call her, but I didn't do that because of the time difference as well as the cost that I would incur for such a long distance call (I knew we'd talk for hours).

The week before last I got an email from Annie requesting that I update her with my new contact info. It also had the subject line of "I'M HERE". Indeed, she was in Seattle, staying at her ex-husband's place (the one they shared before she left town, which was also before the divorce). To say that I was "giddy" would be an understatement. Would we like to meet? ARE YOU KIDDING?!!? We did meet - several days in a row. It seems that Annie's life on Maui had taken some sad twists. Her ex-husband had flown her out in order to give her some space where she could get away from things and clear her head. My job was to listen to her and catch up on the facts.

We spent a helluva lot of time together. Frankly, Shawn's a bit pissed at me for doing that, but I don't care. Shawn got out of school the week that Annie and I first got back together. Shawn had expectations about doing things together once she was out of school, which is reasonable, but she also booked 3 of the 5 weeknights for things to do that didn't include me (note: I spent the weekends with Shawn). The other conundrum is that I've listened for months about Shawn's concerns that I'm not getting out of the house and being social enough and then, when it happens, I find her a bit miffed because of the timing of the event. Ah, well, we'll get over it. For my part, I admit to being an oaf on some things, but on the other paw, I don't regret it either. Annie was in town for 2 weeks and Shawn has me not only for the summer (including a vacation for the next week and a half), but also for the foreseeable future.

Though Annie's tales of her life concerned me (or rather, "concern me" as I'm still worried about how things are going to work out, or not), it was a joy to see her. Apparently, it showed on my face as well. While drinking one night at the Bad Juju Lounge, Shawn and SophiaKitty met up with us after shopping. SophiaKitty asked me who was driving home - apparently thinking that I had had much to drink. The fact was that I was working on only my second beer in as many hours. More likely, the glow on my face was from the company I was keeping. On our last night out together, I was carded at the Bad Juju Lounge because someone there thought that I didn't look 25. Now, most people would be flattered by this, especially someone who is 40, but there's just no way that I don't look older than 25. Still, maybe Annie's presence had something to do with that?

Who knows? Annie and I said goodbye again yesterday. She flies back this morning to Maui and I wish her the best. I am concerned for my friend and I hope things work out for her there. If not, then she can always come back and look me up and I'll accept her with open arms. I know that she'd do the same for me if the circumstances required it. As with all such partings of special friends, there were mixed emotions when we said goodbye. I tried to put a few down in words the day before and left them for her as I knew that either the words would fail me when the time came or I'd be too embarrassed to say some of them (exposing myself so nakedly) or the situation would just feel too awkward.

So, dear reader, this is why there haven't been many postings lately. The blog will revive briefly this week. On Saturday, Shawn and I take off for holiday for a week and a half. We're going camping in Snoregon (Bend area). We'll also visit some of Shawn's skelatives and the trip will culminate with a celebration of the 60th birthdays of several family friends. It should be a good time. I'll be unwired during the holiday, but I'll be reading and writing the entire time away. I've got thoughts in my head and a revived interest. There are a couple of ideas that have been circulating for a month or two that need attention. Perhaps when I'm back, I'll have the room here to share them.

In the meantime, please, once again, accept my apologies, dear reader. And, if Annie happens to be reading this, know that the apology is both heartfelt and a formality because I don't regret any of the time together. Annie, I love you and want nothing more than your happiness. I miss you already. Let's not let time cleanse us so completely this go around.

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