In June 2009, I started commenting on a blog, Irreverant Irrelevance. It's author, was in the habit of responding to his commenters individually, something I've emulated if you leave an email link with your comments. A few emails went back and forth between us (and other commenters of course) as posts were read and comments left. By December I received a chat notification in Gmail from someone who's name I didn't recognise. He soon clarified who he was and so began the odd IM conversation. The man can talk the leg off a chair and I can talk underwater so conversation comes easily. By January we were regularly communicating then in March, he loaded up Skype and chats turned into voice. He moved slowly from the East Coast to the West and we introduced webcams. It was pretty cool putting the face to the voice. Our chats tend to be long, interesting, informative, funny, collaborative, sober, drunken, serious, stupid, playful. And I cherish each one.
For almost a year now, this has been going on. Unless of course I light a cigarette in which case I am summarily 'terminated' from the call or heavily berated to put it out while he chain chews Nicorette. Our contact has been interrupted only by bouts out-of-city work, vacations, intermittent connections or the odd weekend away. It's a lovely liaison and I am proud to call him my friend. Not only is he my closest male friend and a fantastic online companion but he's led me to places I never thought I would venture this past 12 months.
He's solely responsible for me starting Creative Infanticide and encouraging me to write. I've been a copywriter in a past life but never ventured into fiction or indeed way out of my comfort zone as I have this year. Together we decided upon The Infanticide Exchange a private collaborative blog, where aspiring writers can receive some constructive criticism from published writers, editors, readers and their peers. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in honest critical appraisal.
He generously reviews and critiques my work, and the work of others, before we post or refine for other media. He's a fine writer in his own right but denies it and I recommend you read some of his posts on Irreverant Irrelevance, they're wonderful.
He's been a joy to co-write with on a rather long piece that we did for The Tenth Daughter of Memory. A project I loved doing as much as he did and one I hope will take us somewhere over the next 12 months. Again, we encourage would-be writers to join 10thDom. It's competitive, creative, generates wonderful quality, much fun and a great bunch of contributors take part. As I've said before, it's not for the feint hearted, wannabes or those with fragile egos. It's certainly not there to garner sycophantic comments. The beauty of it, is that it's a small field of quality writers, who contribute and vote on each others efforts. I am humbled each time I post by the excellence of their work.
He's opinionated, impetuous, interesting, well-travelled, moody, arrogant, damaged, talented, creative, honest, hedonistic, detailed, loyal, intelligent, stubborn, articulate, funny, encouraging, protective and infuriating but always multi-talented and most importantly, there for me when I need him and tolerates my neurosis with the patience of a Saint.
He's OCD with cleanliness (trust me watching him vacuum is porn for women), loves his pets more than people and is single-handedly trying to monopolise the noodle market. His grammar is impeccable, his general knowledge amazing. I learn something from him every day.
2011 is going to be his year, I know it. The career will take off. More works will be published. He'll find his muse. His travel aspirations will begin. Most exciting of all, I get to meet him in April, hug him until he's blue, cook for him, travel with him and spoil him rotten. He has indeed become a valued friend and part of the family.
|Why so blue?|
Oh and of course, teach him how to talk 'strine and introduce him to green vegetables as a food group, a concept that has so far escaped him.
We've kept each other company on high days and holidays, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. He talked to me for hours on my birthday because I was home alone and in need of a friend. He consoles me when I'm sad, castigates me when I'm irritating. He won't thank me for this post, or for wishing him happy birthday, these events have little resonance for him but I love him to bits and wish him wonderful things this year and always.
I believe during one of our conversations (sadly when I was sober) I made a promise to jump out of a plane (expert and parachute attached). We shall see. This song may be my anthem and hopefully not my requiem.
Thanks matey for just being 'right here'. You and me, we're just fine. One million invisible lines, up your head and into mine . . . we're just fine. You're the light in my Parka and you're jumping with me!
Hmm . . hardly a stretch for an ex-Paratrooper.