The Implacable Romance of Friendship

The worst part of semi-nomadic life is believing you’re beyond such things. The long months spent settling, hungering for more than chance meetings and circumstance, dipping in and out of conversation without connection. The moment of acceptance, that it will always be a little bit forced. The counting of those you’d truly count on the fingers of a single hand.

But then somehow it comes, not a bolt from the blue but tentative tendrils of green – new life and new perspectives. The coy dance of references, eyes darting to catch a smile of recognition. The sudden rush of thoughts and feels and the stomach-squeezing pause before a kind-of response in kind. The stunned surprise at unwarranted kindness. The heard-this-and-thought-of-you. The lust to learn strangeness by heart.

They’re found in the strangest of places, these second sorts of soulmate, and never when you’re expecting. In time they’ll be family, foundation stones for the best of times, witnesses to rites of passage and tellers of our tales. But for now – for a while, at least – we will feast on the fleeting, the yet unfulfilled, a cordial intimacy.

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