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What I asked for today was not special by any stretch. I invited an acquaintance and his wife to come over for dinner. A routine, humdrum invitation people learn to extend when they're five. "Want to come over after school?" An invitation I've extended a thousand times before, in some shape or form.
But this time it's different, because...
Ever since I moved to San Diego almost a year ago, I've been thrilled to be so close to my family. I've loved finally living in the same city as my beloved after three years of long distance. And I've adored the feeling the sun on my shoulders in February.
But I miss the culture, the chaos and the density of big cities like Boston and Paris. And I miss my social life. When I was in LA yesterday and talking to Cecile, it felt so good -- to have a friend! Someone who recognizes me, who knows my jokes, who greets me with a big hug and trusts me enough to ask for advice. I miss it.
I think it just hit me, hard, yesterday. I miss the talking, questioning, thinking, exploring with a similar or different mind about subjects you both find intriguing. And I miss the fun -- scrolling down on my cell phone and figuring out who to call. Running into people on the street. Or lowering my voice conspiratorially in cafe, Just in case. Who knows who's sitting behind you?
Here, I could shout the deepest blasphemies and no one would recognize me.
Is the anonymity empowering? Exciting? Do I enjoy having a blank slate? Not really.
I shouldn't be sniveling. My closest childhood friend, who you knows Jem, lives a few blocks away and we see each other every chance we get. There are more than a few people in this city I love hanging out with. Mr. A would rather live it up than sleep (which says a lot, given how much he works) -- and that energy is one of the reasons I fell in love with him. I just need to start doing what I haven't done in ages -- pick up the phone, and call (or email) them.
Gained: TBD... company? a pre-proto-friendship? a dinner party in the making? my social life climbing back from the grave?
PS I will now insert a few pictures of sad baby animals, so that you divert your pity (or haughty scorn, if that's your style) from me, onto them.