It’s been almost two months. The new has become routine, friendships have had time to solidify, and now it is time to deepen them. That’s not to say I haven’t been making any new friends. I made a brand new, sparklingly special friend in the last week: one of those people I wasn’t sure of at first simply because she seemed too good to be true. But on the whole, we are starting to hunker down and strengthen the foundations; to care for our friendship gardens. In other words, shit’s starting to get real. I guess by this time we know enough to gauge whom we can trust, and whether to continue to divulge information, or withdraw.
This is when things can start to look less pretty, when we start getting out our junk (not like that! God, mind, gutter! Although, if you’re comfortable enough with one another now…) and revealing our not-so-palatable bits. Anxieties, shortcomings, vulnerabilities and deep, dark secrets are slowly starting to surface. Chequered family histories and past relationship catastrophes, insecurities and lifelong, soul-deep, aching lonelinesses are being exposed. Or maybe that’s just me and my messed up friends. This close-quarters living has begotten friends who know things about me that older friends don’t. Staying up talking till 5am (and still making it to 9am labs!) will do that.
Proximity plays such a vital part in developing a friendship, particularly a new one. I’m put in mind of my time as a travelling consultant, and the colleagues posted to the same client out in the sticks who became friends thanks in large part to the hotel room D&Ms we shared. I thank the gay Lord that my GBF lives very close by, and for the wonderful people in this building with whom I am willing to stay up till stupid o’clock, and who are so easily accessible to me. That giant kitchen is actually a blessing.
Last weekend was Halloween, and having all been sardined in my box room for a “getting ready pre-party” and making considerable efforts with our costumes and make-up, my friends and I never actually made it past the bins outside the entrance of my residence. This was entirely my fault, as I had consumed a little too much of the old booze, but it turned out to be the best night ever. Indeed, it was much more comfortable at home with my loyal buds taking care of me than being squished in a crowded club. From what I remember the evening was full of laughs and love, ending where it started: in my room, complete with stereotypical bohemian student-y guitar-strumming and warbling into the wee hours.
Now one of my closest friends here is leaving, which breaks my heart a little (but I fully support your decision, K!) At this moment in time we all need our increasingly-close friends to keep us perky as the work piles up, the deadlines loom closer, the days get shorter and colder and exams threaten in the distance. Hugs, laughs, and yes even intellectual and political discussions are all potent remedies for the hard winter months that are coming – anything that warms the blood. Darling friendships, do like Edelweiss: may you bloom and grow forever.