Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Newburyport, MA; buying some bad coffee to get free web access. As is the usual case when I come to visit it is hard to try to connect with all of the folks I want to see--I consider a .250 average to be very good. I read something the other day that spoke about relationships. I'm paraphrasing here, but the essence of the piece was that there are two sorts of friends--those who need constant affirmation of their status in word or deed; and those who figure a friend is a friend. I fall into the latter category. I have picked up where I left off with people after incredibly long layoffs (in one case almost twenty years). It's not my reason for being here, but I was asked to answer some interrogatories in a friends divorce proceedings. When I had finshed printing them out I had to get them notarized and the two of us walked to a nearby attorney's office to have that done. The nice lady who applied her seal and asked for my license to make sure I was me, finished the paperwork and said "you're welcome" to our "Thank you"'s. I then said "(her name); you don't remember me do you?" She looked at me and said, "No.", but she knew that she should. I laughed. She said, "NOW, I remember you!". She used to bartend for a friend of mine and I think it really took her back to see me after something like 7-8 years. I like my life and I like to be able to move around to see the people I love and care about. In fact, I'm sitting in front of YOUR house, right now.


mutzali said...

Well, I'm at work right now, so I won't be coming to the door for about 8 hours. Since you're there, could you wheel the trash cans back up to the side yard after the garbage/recycling trucks come around? They always leave them in the street.

And feel free to kill any squirrels you see raiding my persimmon tree.

Thanks muchly.

Anne Johnson said...

Come on in! Want a piece of pie? Watch out for the parrot. He bites.

Richard said...

I need constant affirmation. And gifts. Plenty of gifts. It's just the way I roll.

Fran said...

Don't sit out there! It's cold and wet! Our house is a mess, but we've got a comfy spare bed -- I'll move the pieces of wood off it, and it'll be there for ya! But SeattleTammy and SeattleDan will be jealous!

I hear you about the kinds of friends. Most of mine are the friend-friend type.

One of the nice thing about these internet tubes is the fact that I can spend tine with some of my favorite people, even when they're across the country.

Be safe in your journies, my friend.

Richard said...

I came across the Nebraska-Oklahoma game on the Tivo last night and checked out the first quarter and, like, OMG! 2 Td's agin 'ya in 4 seconds! 4 TD's allowed in, like, 2 and a half minutes? That's impressive. Ugly, but impressive. That's OK. I recall the Sooners were a bit down in the mouth not so many seasons ago and what goes round comes round, right?

Anonymous said...

Well, Demo, I just want you to know I sit around the Ale House every weekend just hoping you’ll show up!

Nomi said...

I look forward to meeting you one of these trips!

word verification is: tatisdel !

Joe Visionary said...

... and o'course, yer allus welkum up north here...

democommie said...

Hi, friends:

I'm with my pal in his house. He wants to learn about food and so we've been talking about it all day. Win-win!

I got here thursday and spent the balance of the day hanging with some friends and doing whatever.

Saturday morning at 2:00 AM I woke up and realized that I had not taken care of something I needed to do before I left home. Soooo, I jumped in the car and drove 385 miles to the home place, did the piece of work that I had neglected and drove back. 770 miles and 3 hours work. Long day.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Life is so much easier without friends. I'm an affable guy, known at work for my sardonic wit and knowledge of all things political and economic, a regular "hail fellow well met." And I chitter-chatter to all manner of people online such as yerself, Demo. At parties I go to, at the demonstrations our anti-nuke group does, when Mrs. Bukko and I travel, I'm a regular raconteur. That's why teh Internetz toobz are so wonderful -- it allows one to strike up instant shallow friendships.

But I don't keep in contact with anyone from my past (except for one female reporter at the first paper I ever worked for in the early 1980s.) By my second year in college, I had lost track of everyone I went to high school with. Four years out into the real world, ditto for all my college buds. All the people at the newspapers where I used to work; all the nurses and aides and administrators at the hospitals and nursing homes where I laboured -- down the memory hole.

Not that I dislike them. I just don't get attached to people. I enjoy the here and now, who I'm with, but if they all went away and were replaced with a different cast of characters, that would be OK with me.

That made it so much easier to hightail it halfway around the world. Mrs. Bukko, OTOH, is pining for the Deadhead friends she made during 18 years following the band. She's all torn up that they're an ocean away (and too farking poor to fly down to visit, even if they had any interest in seeing this desert continent, which they don't.) One could say there's something wrong with me, that I don't form lasting bonds. But it sure makes life a lot easier.

Joe Visionary said...

I'm with you on that one, Bukko. It isn't that I'm a flake or shallow, it's more that I have no problem connecting at the deeper levels even with total strangers if I find such people and go to a bit of effort.

I routinely move on to new crowds, and frankly that suits me. However, that isn't to say I much care for parties; I don't. Implicitly I find the 'personality sampling' as people drift around the party room to be shallow and presumptuous; I'll take a single kindred soul over a room full of beautiful people any day. I find talking pleasantries to be SUCH a bore.

I have no problem being a major personality in most any crowd and it's rubbed off onto my wife, who's gone from being a mouse to one who'll chat up the devil.

I don't know if I've inadvertently revealed myself to be some manner of psychotic, but then this is one of the very few places I still live on the edge (if you want to call it that).

democommie said...

bukko in australia:

Right you are. I just go the other way and that's what works for me. I can go pretty much anyplace and be as happy (or sad) as I would be anywhere else. But I do like my special peeps.

word verification = "meth manx"

Cat on speed?

Bukko_in_Australia said...

One final cultural comparison about friendship -- Americans are so much more open, at a deeper level, than Aussies. They're real friendly down here -- people talk to strangers on the trams, for instance -- but it's at a shallow level. Sport, the weather, current events, etc. Yet they keep the personal stuff covert. In contrast, Americans will pour out all sorts of "too-much-information" details to almost anyone. It's the Oprah effect.

I was working at my job for almost two years and didn't know whether my boss was married or not. Even when she left for a year's maternity leave, I still wasn't sure whether she was just knocked up.

Then there's the case of our closest friends here, a middle-class couple we met on our scouting trip Down Undah in April 2005 when they heard us taking the piss outta Bush on the shuttle bus from the airport. (Bashing MonkeyBoy when you've got an American accent is a guaranteed ice-breaker in any country.) We've gone to dinner with them dozens of times, been at each others' birthday parties, even spent Christmas Eve with their family. But the poor bastard (apparently) had some financial losses with his investments. At age 60, they're having to sell their house and move in with his sister in the country.

If they were Americans, they'd be whingeing on about it to no end. But I still don't know what happened, and I'm loath to ask. (Although we're going over for a last barbie on Saturday, before they put their place up for auction, and I may press the issue.)

Odd how friendship has different depths in different cultures...

Jim Voorhies said...

"the oprah effect" I like that. Nice, bukko!

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Thx Jim but it's not my phrase. I read a lot of things, and steal the good stuff liberally.