Into the oasis
2 minute read
I was about 15 when Matt and his mum moved onto the estate in London, where I grew up. We soon became great friends and spent many happy hours smoking weed, playing chess, making each other laugh and talking about the world. But life has a way of creating distance where it shouldn’t be, and that’s what happened to us. He wound up going back into studying and in the end got himself to university and bagged a degree in archaeology. It was an amazing achievement and all of us were deeply proud, but it was also during that time that we started to drift apart. Many years went by in which we didn’t speak and so neither knew about the adventures or the tragedies the other experienced. I’m glad to say we are back in touch these days and though we still don’t see each other as much as I’d like we do occasionally make some time to stay up till the wee hours setting the world to rights and making each other laugh like hyenas just like the good old days.
The thing is, I’m not sure if I could ever be known as deeply by anyone I met now. I really don’t think that’s possible, the walls of my soul have grown so thick. When you’re young you’re so porous, so transparent, it’s so much easier to let other people in. These people I still know from way back then, feel like so much more than friends, they’re my pack, they’re my community I suppose. Sometimes I feel like they and I are somehow all parts of the same being, like we’re those little robots that can make a super robot when you put them together. Matt’s not always the happiest person, like me, he can be shrouded in dark clouds at times, but if you knew him like I do you’d know he has a great capacity for joy and mischief and that an awful lot of light shines out of him. This was taken on his birthday a few years ago in a moment when those clouds had parted.
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