Monday, August 31, 2015

Confession: My Imaginary Friend

I haven't seen one of my best friends in 6 years.  It seems weird, but time passes.  What's weirder than that is that we've only actually seen each other for 3 days.

My friend Kev & I met when we shared a raft to whitewater together in Uganda.  These 3 guys & I had a connection - perhaps forced upon us by the other group in the raft who all knew each other.  With the exception of Kev & Mario, myself & the other were travelling solo.  (Somewhere out there there is a photo of the 4 of us together - the only picture of us together.)

Kev & I hit it off by talking shit at the bar & chatting about music.  Later, he was giving me music recommendations which introduced me to legendary Aussie bands like Cat Empire & Hilltop Hoods.  Later I left them at the airport & we hugged twice.  Later still, I was sending him ska & punk music while he was stationed in Sudan with the UN.  Over the years, he would call from Riga or the Netherlands, sometimes from Afghanistan or Dubai, or I would be in Halifax, Tahiti, Mexico or Zanzibar; at this point it seems like we've skyped from everywhere on Earth.  I would always stay awake for his middle-of-the-night calls - they sometimes seemed like his last resort. 

We have tried to meet since then.  The year after we met it was going to be in Israel for a concert just before christmas - now that's the style of travel I can relate to!  When I had plans to live in Mexico I invited him to visit...  I was going to meet him in Australia for my 25th birthday - his first time back in many years - but my boat never set sail & I ended up staying in New Zealand.

This week I am going to Greece for his wedding.  I am so excited simply at the prospect of putting a backpack on to head out & see what happens! (Albeit for a short time - 14 days.)  I am super excited about the idea of seeing my friend again.  I think the wedding is at a posh hotel, which are different  circumstances than the ones in which I expected our reunion.  I half expected to meet for drinks while we were both on a layover in the Hong Kong airport.

Actually I've tried to convince him for years that I'm just a figment of his imagination.  "Who is this person who think you've been talking to all these years?  Some woman you met at the bar in Uganda?!  Really?  You think she gives a rat's ass about you?"  ...and other variations of this just to fuck with him.  That projection is reflected from my own doubt.  I left for a big East African adventure with the idea that I might just design a tattoo & make up a story about this legendary explorer I met overseas, just to have some amazing stories to tell.  I came home with stories all right.

Only one person, Mario, has seen the both of us together.  He might be the only proof that neither of us is making this up.

This time next week, we might be properly caught up.  Although I DON'T THINK HE'S AWARE OF THE FULL EXTENT OF THE QUESTIONS I HAVE.

And then maybe we'll go rafting again in Greece, or never see each other again.
I hope his wife is as interesting...

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