“Jinx! Double jinx! Triple jinx! Personal jinx!”
They scream this out every time two or more of them say something at the same time. I used to play that game as a kid. There was something thrilling about being in sync with my friend or sibling. Like: how cool that we’re thinking about the same thing AT THE SAME TIME! No. Way.
It’s still cool.
I don’t like to feel alone (I wonder if anyone does really…?). I feel scared and sad, forgotten and neglected, when I feel alone. Like I have to face the big wide whole world by myself and it overwhelms me. Feels impossible. I am much warmer, calmer, happier when I know that someone is thinking of me, someone has me in mind, someone is empathetic toward me. And it’s even better if they’re thinking of me at the same time as I’m thinking of them. But that doesn’t happen often. No. Way.
Sometimes it does. It does happen. And when it does I am that eight-year-old kid again – thrilled and happy with a great big grin on my face because how cool! And also because I’m reassured that I’m really not alone.
The song a faraway friend mentions to me that is suddenly playing on the radio. The adorable muppet-like video saying hi I love you you’re awesome I’m so glad you’re my friend that shows up in my inbox on a morning that seems impossible – Toronto now feels like it’s round the corner, and suddenly the morning is not so impossible.
“So weird, was just thinking of you and wishing you were down the road and I could see you…”
She is my best friend from life. We’ve known each other since first grade, which is my whole life – I remember very little before then. We’ve been silly together, cried together, confided in each other, been mad with each other, and laughed and laughed and laughed together.
When I received this text from her, my heart filled with warm and happy. She had been on my mind, so I sent her a message. Asking how she was, when could we talk? And she had been thinking of me, at that exact moment. She was not alone. And I was not alone. Jinx personal jinx!
Our phone conversations are long and deeply satisfying. I wish we were lying on the carpet listening to Depeche Mode together but this is a close second. The time zones and miles between here and there fall away, and if I close my eyes and just talk, she is right here with me.
“Nick, remember when we sent Mr B a…” “Valentine’s Card!” I finish for her.
We are both shrieking with laughter, our words falling over each other’s. We giggle together for many minutes, remembering that gigantic card we sent our English teacher in high school. We took a proud photograph of ourselves with it, and somehow that photograph ended up in his hands. Busted!
She remembers a 16th birthday party we had together – the social event of the year, she said – and I remember a Saturday night hitchhiking in Johannesburg (I know, so not okay). Sometimes our memories overlap, and sometimes they don’t, but always they are special, binding us together above the broadband that connects us.
Thinking of you. Sending love. You ok? Had a feeling, just wanted to check in… Messages like these join hands and hold me close. Whether it’s a day of smiles and sunshine, or one that is dark and difficult, these missives to and from those I love and who love me feel all kinds of wonderful. As if I stretched out my hand, and felt those warm fingers interlace with mine – from across the Bay, from down the road, to the North and down South, and over the ocean.
This post was written as part of the April A to Z Challenge. To read more of my A to Z posts click here.