November 8th, 2004



When I left home this morning the sun was coming up, shining through the morning haze, and the air was crisp and clear. At 4:30 p.m., still at work, the view out my window could have fooled me into thinking it was 10:30 at night. It's dark out, and lights are on. The company flags are snapping briskly in a row. It could be bedtime for all I know, if I went by my senses, and not by the clock.

The weekend was full* of good food, good meals, cooked by other people. Friday night we ate out at a restaurant that used to be a train station. They had a limited, but excellent, menu, and a basement full of toys down which the kids disappeared whenever food wasn't on the table. Saturday we had dinner at a friend's house, and yesterday at Anders' parents. I'm going out for dinner tonight as well, with 2 of the 4 girlfriends that I first became close to here in Sweden. One is sick, and the last lives in Sydney, so she can't make it anyway.

I met Angie first on Halloween in 1997, when I was hugely pregnant with Martin. He was due November 17th, but ended up being 3 weeks late. Angie had been in Sweden for 8 years at that point, which is the amount of time (nearly) that I have now been here. Almost as soon as the AWC was formed, I met Kathey and Emily and Kelly and we became a gang, along with our husbands, who also really enjoyed each other's company. In April of 2001, Kathey and her husband moved to Australia, and that marked a sea change in all of our relationships. Angie and Kelly and I had all become mothers, and had bought houses and moved outside of Malmö. Over the last 3.5 years, we have been drifting further apart, the ripple from the drop that was Kathey's move spreading further and further out, floating us with it, away from each other.

Tonight's dinner was an attempt to try and recapture some of the closeness. I miss my girlfriends, and it turns out they miss us, too. We've been trying to schedule this dinner since the middle of September, now only 3 of us will make it. I had begun to think that there was no use in trying to swim back to these friends who are drifting away. If time and tide brought us back together, so be it.

But now, after a lovely evening spent reconnecting, finished off with laughter over chocolate and pistachio ice cream, I'm convinced that without my friends I would no longer float. I would sink rapidly to the bottom, bubbles rising all the way, and quietly drown.

QOTD: Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." —C.S. Lewis (thanks to thinkum)

Really Good Writing Out There Right Now: I exist in real life and I exist on the internet

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