I phoned my family for the first time in a while last night. I don't usually phone them - I e-mail a few times a week and they all read my blog, so I know they're always aware of what I'm getting up to, and they e-mail me their news so I'm in the loop as well. This works best for me, really. Every now and then I like to phone and hear their voices, but for the most part I am quite content with my pen (ok, my keyboard) functioning as my mouthpiece. This is mostly because it's easier to organise my thoughts into something coherent when I write, as opposed to the endless, news item-hopping ramblings I find myself spouting when conversing with them. That's not to say they don't enjoy them - I am sure they never tire of hearing me talk... God knows I never tire of talking! But it certainly makes more sense and is more cohesive, not to mention descriptive, when it's written down. One other thing that is greatly lacking in conversation is irony. Of course, irony happens whether you speak or write about it, but writing captures irony in a truly satisfying way that the spoken word cannot. Irony is a form of god - it is to writers what Father Christmas is to children.
Mini-me and G are moving into their flat this weekend. After months of shacking up with the folks while they wait for their tennant's lease to expire, they are about to experience the freedom of moving out for the first time. They did live by themselves during their UK stint, but it was a live-in pub job, even though they had their own little flat, so it doesn't really count - no rent to pay, no grocery shopping as all food was stolen from the kitchen.... This will mark the first time they're living alone with all their expenses. Makes me nostalgic for the days when Shoes and I had our own haven of space and peace. Don't get me wrong, we've adjusted perfectly well to living with housemates, but nothing beats the feeling of having a place to call you own, rather than jointly your own. It's been bliss this week without Eyes and Scarves, in a way that it can only be when you've lived with people for so long you've forgotten what it's like to potter into the kitchen butt naked in the morning to make your coffee. I can shower with the door open so the steam doesn't build up (the fan is broken); watch whatever the hell I feel like on TV; speak when I want to and embrace complete silence when I don't. We've had silly, couple-type conversations that you just can't have in front of actual people for fear of encouraging a deep seated loathing; we've eaten, slept and lolled around in the lounge (aka bedroom, dining room and computer room this week) and we went a whole day without getting up or showering just because we could. My housemates' return will be tinged with a bit of regret for me; at the same time as it will be exciting because it's like moving in all over again - at least for the first day. Thereafter we'll ignore each other as usual when we need our me time.
It's interesting how friendship changes when you move in with someone, not through conscious effort but rather through an instinctive realisation that if you don't alter things, you'll end up hating each other. Scarf often used to say to me in the beginning that she missed our closeness - the almost telepathic bond we had where we were on the same page at the same time every moment we were together. Over the course of the last year and a half, that telepathic bond has given way to often concentrated tolerance and patience. Yes, hanging out together no longer holds the excitement and deep sense of comradeship that it once did... we used to look forward to seeing each other, now we look forward to each other's absence. But our friendship has deepened on another level which takes the place of the giddiness we used to inspire in each other. I know her inside out now, and vice versa... her flaws, her good points, the things that drive me mental and the things about her that I would never change. I like to think that deeper knowledge and subsequent acceptance of someone in all aspects is far more indicative of real friendship than just having a great time. As much as I mourn the loss of my personal space, I know when we eventually leave London for our own houses in Cape Town, I will truly miss living with Eyes and Scarves.... it will take a while to adjust to them not being there for the mundane, the celebratory occasions and our spontaneous weekend parties. See, now I am looking forward to their return on Sunday, and a night spent swapping stories, photos and future plans.