Giving up the ghost of friendships past

I recently had a meeting with a friend of mine in a local cafe. The morning had a chill like no other, minus six degrees and dropping by all accounts. With only my Fagin gloves on and a track suit covering my shivering body, I stood at the cafes counter with teeth chattering ten to the dozen as I ordered my usual full english breakfast with a hold on the tomatoes. My friend sat wrapped up cosy and warm in his sheep skin coat and woolly hat, looking ponderous as he stared out of the window at nothing in particular. This, he never did. This was something different. Had something taken over my friends mind and replaced him with a …dare I say it…a thinker?

I pulled up a chair and sat opposite this new thinking oddity. As he started to talk I realised that thinking was not the only thing that had changed within him. He told me his plans to move to cities, counties and countries. He wanted to explore different experiences and that there was nothing left for him here, but that he would try and stay in touch with me as much as possible. I smiled as the words came out of his mouth, to which he looked sternly in my face and said ‘I’m deadly serious, why are you laughing?’

I continued to chuckle as I patted him on his shoulder and replied, ‘Dude, we are already there’

He looked at me puzzled and the thinking facade disappeared as quickly as it came, ‘Egh’ , he grunted, screwing his eyes up in the process, just as the waitress glided over to our table with my plate of delights.

I lifted my index finger towards my friend in the hope that it would signal a moments grace whilst I grabbed the knife and fork with the ferver of a man starved for days. I needed to warm my body up and I needed it doing quickly. ‘We catch each other when we catch each other, that is what we have always done, their won’t be any difference’, I said calmly.

My friend shuffled in his chair, like I had never seen before, he pulled out the thinking pose again and this time he looked like a true thinker. I started to get a little worried at this point for I felt there was something he was trying to tell me but somehow he thought it better to say it without words. Perhaps, because he had known me for such a long time he knew that I would jump into analysis mode so might as well find the answers myself. This time I didn’t want to find the answer myself, this time I wanted him to tell me.

The atmosphere around the tiny cafe table was starting to stifle me as I waited for what I thought was coming my way, then finally it happened, he stood up, placed his hands in his pockets looked out of the window and muttered, ‘Thanks for everything man, I gotta move on’, he turned, but before doing so, placed a wrapped present on the table and headed for the door and that was it.

I look upon this experience in a positive light for at least he had the politeness to tell me he was moving on. How many friendships have just withered and died without knowing why?

I liken friendships to magnets of life. For a moment in time the attraction is immense and nothing can pull them apart, but when a stronger magnet pulls at one or the other or one or the other weakens, the magnets will eventually fall apart and are found only by magnets of similar strength/attraction/interest etc.

I have come to learn that giving up the ghost of friendships past, leaves the door open for new interests, new horizons and definitely plenty of new powerful magnets.

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