Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I have friends who amaze me constantly. Brave and beautiful. Delicate and pungently funny. Generous beyond even bearing it. Constant and comfortable. There are so many different kinds of people in my life. But I am no less than blessed, and joyous, in ANY of those who are so kind as to love me. If smart people - if such *good* people - think well of me, I am humbled; and hope only to live up to it.

I said, earlier on, a little bit about my friends. Time to say just a little bit more.

I have not requested to post personal information about those in my life, and will not be doing so. However, so as to clarify obvious future posting, a little background.

M is my brother, three years my elder, a dad, a scholar and scientist, and a traveler currently residing on the "other" coast quite a ways away. His family are N, his wife, and my nieces, whose identities will be obscured here to the greatest possible degree. When I was young, I idolized him completely - never a nice thing to do to somebody - and now that we're older, we admire one another and find that both frustrating and beautiful, and it seems to work for us. He is the fiercest person I know, and deeply, deeply gentle and tender. He's also just awfully funny and bent.

Acronymed thusly for reasons intentionally lost here, TEO has been my indulgent friend since we were twelve years old. She is a teacher and a mother, with two luminous tots of the male persuasion; she is incandescent herself, one of the most joyous, energetic, devoted, and intelligent people I will ever, ever know. She's helped to teach me how to simulate personal decency, and her enthusiasm for those she loves is second to nobody. How she's put up with *me* since the Reagan Era, I cannot imagine: but my gratitude and happiness on this point know absolutely no bounds.

TT is a friend from my childhood neighborhood, and about a dozen years of school. She appeared after a long absence from acquaintanceship, in a group I worked with at my previous employer. TT is a generous soul with the most winsome curiosity and humor, an openness to others which makes *her* incredibly interesting, and a level of engagement in life which is rare and special. She's delightful and enjoyable, pleasant and interesting, and easily ranks in that short list we all keep, of "my favorite people".

Where TEO and I met in the summer before our first year of middle school (7th grade, for us, back then), V and I met once the school year began. V recently married a guy of whom I thoroughly approve; the latest in a series of friends who have been blessed to find amazing, wonderful mates. Being the "thing of honor" at their celebration - and the wedding itself - was everything lovely one might think of to say, and has renewed the bond of two friends who appear to be just fine with being doomed to a lifelong relationship. Her husband, W, has grown on me and become a friend in his own right (I am grateful to have friends who will come to my house in the dark to jack my car up off my own old *broken* hydraulic jack ... and friends who will lend me their husbands to do this in the first place).

K and T
K, like V, has been a friend for so long the story of how it began is lost to my memory banks. Somewhere in middle school, I knew she was a friend of V's, and since then the three of us have ebbed and flowed - but always become deeper and more sincere in our friendship. She married T last year; a guy I've come to really enjoy and admire and be glad she has found. Their own small, farm wedding, one of the farthest off the beaten path of current bridal expectations I ever expect to attend, was an acutely beautiful affair. They will leave Virginia soon for other opportunities, and I will miss them terribly. That K turned to me, when said opportunity arose, and asked me for advice - and that she and T used it - is an honor I hope I can be worthy of.

Ahhhh. Z. There are no women like her, and I get the joy of saying she's my friend. Z once sent me a private message online to say she thought I was funny, and I have been astounded to have caught the attention of this charismatic, hilarious, incredibly inappropriate, and unbelievably deep woman ever since. She's boisterously gorgeous, creative, smart, and energetic; her life is more than a pageant - it's a drag show with every possible dramatic trapping - and one of the most entertaining people to listen to. She's a woman who can say to my mother, "Nice TONGUE ACTION, H!" and get away with it, when she catches my mom getting a dollop of whipped cream off of my stepfather's chin at Thanksgiving. She's a gust, she's an impossibly engaging story, she's a hilariously fake wrestling move and an After School Special. I missed her birthday this year. I love her anyway.

How to explain X. He is the person I love, but can't be with geographically. He is far away and hating it. He is, to quote K ... "X-beautiful" ... which means more than K even understands. Savagely, terrifyingly brilliant, abruptly curbed by circumstance, the most refreshing person I've ever seen, when he laughs. He's ruined me, rather. He brings out a lioness from my heart - both the fierceness and the protective instinct. Life without knowing him, loving him - would be *less*.

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