I’ve been missing my friends terribly lately. Part of it has come from this utterly aborted ski weekend we were supposed to have right now 15 of the 16 people I invited initially expressed interest, and then bagged, one by one. You’d think a free ski weekend up in the beautiful Berkshires during the best snow season since 1847 would be enough to motivate some folks, but I keep forgetting that New York is a town that makes plans about a month in advance. If you don’t get your wishes in the hopper early, you can forget about it.
Tessa and I will go skiing tomorrow anyway (along with the delightful Shelagh Ratner) and I know circumstances frequently come together to deny your desires it’s not a personal thing. But I do feel bereft of my community, my clique, my commune. I miss living in group houses where impromptu parties, dinners, outings and projects could spring up like spontaneous combustion.
By no means does this demean my life with Tessa; my life with her is spiritually, romantically and soulfully bursting at the seams with delight. I could be stuck in a car for two months with this girl and love every second of it… wait a minute, I just did that.
But my circle of good friends is too spread out, too lightly sprinkled over too much land Salem in GA, Jon in NJ, Chip in NC, Stasia in CA, Bud on a mountain – and everyone else with whom I once broke bread, paid water bills, and laughed over cokes spiced with generic bourbon.
Last year, while we were in North Carolina, in the middle of reshoots for the Pink House movie, my choking fog of anxiety was effortlessly lifted for the first time in a year. And I realized it was because there we were all together my friends, living in three rental houses side by side. I suppose I’m the type that thrives in a tight-knit community; I mean, there doesn’t need to be a campfire and someone singing “Both Sides Now” or anything, but at least a little Utopia that requires regular attendance.
I don’t feel like I have any of that now. I feel tolerated by most of the people I do see: at basketball, at work-related things, out and about. My darkest theory is that now I am no longer single, I don’t try as hard to be charismatic or charming, and without that smokescreen, I’m just too much work. Perhaps it was losing my job, perhaps it was terrorists blowing up two of my favorite buildings, perhaps it was a movie that took everything out of me, or perhaps it is the natural transition from a gregarious world of omnidirectional affection to a nation of two. Or maybe it’s the slow dawning realization that I might not be growing up, but all of my friends are.
the Pink House residents in May 1996