“I thought you’d be a writer by now!”
Everything about the situation was familiar. The kitschy pastoral paintings and ruby red velveteen couches were reminiscent of our suburban upbringing. The drama room we shared in high school had been decked out in a similar fashion as well as the incense-imbued drapery of her living room in Valley Heights. It was there we had bonded over angst dancing to the Cure/the Smiths and there where at 15 she turned my head upside down in the bathroom and chopped all my gold locks off with the sewing scissors and dyed the pixie cut darker.
I remember emerging light headed from the shower after rinsing away the dark dye to face the change I felt I was standing at the brink of. I had felt like the anti-sampson, all the stronger for my lost locks.
I was pleased, secretly. Her statement was a vote of confidence of sorts, and a much needed wake up shake up call.
Eight years is a long time, particularly in best friend time. But as it does it had gone by in a flash. We were 25 now and had found our separate ways to the city. Old enough to have old friends and to be old friends.
In the aftermath of trials and the lead up to the HSC she had disappeared. Something about doing Year 12 part time at TAFE up the mountains. Trouble on the home front. I’d disappeared down and into myself, my relationship and a multitude of other preoccupations. God knows I can’t remember any of them now.
How can you reconcile creating something and being it at the same time? It is difficult and lonely. Rilke says you have to go inside yourself and be prepared to not meet anyone for days.
Yet in a way, here was a character straight out of a potential collegiate novel of rebellion and coming of age sitting right before me, asking me why she wasn’t written yet. Brideshead Revisited stuff. Capital, capital. My response?