What’s the old saying? “Out with the old and in with the new.” Sounds great in a sense – except for the fact it only works when the old is no longer fit for purpose.
I’ve gone out with some old friends here in Italy these last two weeks, people I used to go to school with mostly – all great company and great fun. Our old group formed and evolved over the years, a few dropped out to pursue other friendships and relationships (I did too) and as sometimes happens among friends, we saw less of each other and seldom got together for a natter. I suppose you could say I’ve rediscovered my old friends – those who helped me settle down and make the most of my last three years of high school before going to University. I’ve enjoyed these days out, from the first to the latest! We get on so well, in my eyes at least.
The other night we were going out for a beer and a sit down in one of the best bars in town in terms of international beer variety (American, British, Belgian, Jamaican, French, German…so many!) and I was unusually late by my standards. I checked the song on my mp3 player and saw a drop of rain fall on it. My first thought was to tell a friend who was already there that I was running a bit late and that I was walking there without any way to cover myself from the rain. I was ready to get soaked. Instead it drizzled for 10 minutes. I was beginning to get gloomy when I realised that actually it wasn’t bad and that it was wet enough to just make the ground give off its musky wet smell. Joy! I had a great smile on my face and decided to roll up my sleeves just to feel the rain on my skin. I used to enjoy the rain when I had more hair, wore it really long and couldn’t care less when it got wet, but with my receding hair I’ve become self-conscious and always gone out with umbrellas rather than use jackets and hoods – until now, with my short hair. I’m back to not caring since it dries quicker than it gets wet. I reached my friends and must have seemed extremely perky and in good cheer. I was.
Among those present is an ex girlfriend of mine who I’m still very good friends with (I wrote Eurydice about this amazing girl a while back). I’ve been out with her every day pretty much this holiday and enjoyed every minute. We joke and reminisce about our month-long relationship and chat and laugh at all that’s happened since – she knows a fair bit about my sex life, so I guess we don’t have what most people would consider a normal ex couple/best friends type relationship. I’m more than confident we still have feelings for each other on some level but I’m also confident that neither of us wants to explore those feelings at this time. We’re great as we are right now. I’ve changed. I was lost without her as my other-half before; now I realise that I just need her friendship and her company. Oh sure, we’re possibly over-flirty but we like keeping people on their toes when they look at us! I’m generally rather flirty and I more often than not hug those around me (just one arm or both) and give them gentle pinches on their cheeks, friendly kisses on their heads, let them sit on me, hold them… I’m just that sort of guy, who spent his most meaningful years in his life in a country that allows and actually looks for human contact rather than hide from it like it was unhealthy. Maybe this is part of the reason for the life expectancy of Mediterranean cultures being so high compared to other Western countries.
We live life to its fullest – all emotions, all pleasures, all activities. So long stress! Here is where I feel relaxed and at home.
Light and Love!