2:12 am - Fri 6.18.2010
"Vacation Week" is going by in a hurry...
My friend Kevin came over last night and had dinner with us, then he and I went to Skyline Lanes (Formerly Metro Bowl) to bowl a couple of games and shoot some pool.
This is something we used to do a lot when I was in town, and it's fun, in part because we're pretty evenly matched in our ineptitude.
With bowling, I won the first game, he won the second, and we tied on the third with high scores of 143...which I thought wasn't bad, considering neither of us had played since the last time I was in town.
(Technically, I was the big winner at pool...but only because Kevin knocked in the eight ball too soon, a couple of games in a row.)
I'm pretty sure I wrote this after my last visit, but I had the same feeling tonight; Clearly, I know Kevin's a smart guy, a funny guy, and that we get along really, really well...but I somehow forget, on some visceral level, just how much fun it is to hang out with him, how comfortable it is.
(I imagine that's a protective device on my part - If I conveniently "forget" how much I enjoy hanging out with Kevin, it's not as painful that I now live thousands of miles away.)
At evening's end, I told him I used to really hate hearing someone say, "I have this friend - We don't see each other for years at a time, but when we do get together, we just 'pick up where we left off'".
The reason that sentiment annoyed me so "back in the day" was that I was really lonely - I wanted friendship on a daily basis and didn't have it ("Who needs a friend you don't see for years at a time?", I'd think to myself) - but now that I'm away from most of the people I feel closest to and can only see them every couple years or so, it's pretty amazing when you really do just "pick up where you left off".
I very much felt that with Kevin tonight.
I feel a similar sense of comfort and fun with Mark and Jane, and my friends from Schuler Books, but that's a little different, because a lot of my friends from the bookstore are friends with me on Facebook, and I probably have more contact with Jane now than I did in Lansing (Though I will always and forever miss our Monday lunches - Emails and Facebook comments don't quite compare).
For a moment, I had the impulse to write "This makes me wonder what I was worrying about" - I felt a wave of "social anxiety" before coming back to Lansing this time, just like I did the first two times, and here I am, talking about how easy it is, how comfortable, "like I'd never left".
But in all three cases I've mentioned - Mark and Jane, my friends from the bookstore, and Kevin - you're talking about people who've been my friends for years, friends who (It's clear now) are going to be my friends "for the duration".
I think the "social anxiety" part of the equation has more to do with
1. The people I've essentially become friends with since I left (On Facebook, mostly), and
2. Dealing with larger scale "group activities", like going to the "Barneys" on Saturday (The Riverwalk Theatre's annual awards show), or the open house here at Mark and Jane's on Sunday.
I want to get a little deeper into this last thing I've written about, but it's really late, and I have to get up fairly early tomorrow.
Mark and Jane and I are visiting Jeff and Jennifer E. at 11:00 (I think Jane wants to go primarily to see Jennifer's babies, then to see Jennifer, while I want to go primarily to see Jennifer, but also want to see the babies. But anyway...)
I'd want to laugh if it weren't actually a little sad - I was worried about coming here...and now I'm starting to worry about "crashing" when I have to go back.
Man, where would I be if I didn't have something to worry about every minute of the day...?
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