thoughts on lownee

Monday, December 19, 2005

thoughts on lowneeSomething a little different today... another combined Monday Musing and Monday Montage... but not a montage I've taken myself... this one is kind of a "tone poem"....

From the top... Reece Witherspoon's pigtails, a howling wolf, Nintendo's Link, the books of Charles de Lint, Ensign Harry Kim, tortellini, swinging our legs, Elfquest's Nightfall, Tank Girl, Sagittarius, Buffy's Willow, little jelly dinosaurs, Will & Grace, Chris Jericho's manflesh, Bridget Jones' Diary and a cafe on Rundle Street...

I feel like some part of me will always be waiting for you. Like, if I'm old and blue-haired and I turn the corner in Istanbul and there you are, I won't be surprised. Because... you're with me... you know? - Willow

This is a post I've kind of been dreading writing... for a number of reasons... I'm sure it's going to go on too long, and I could get a little emotional before the end, we'll have to see...

Today is my bestest girly friend, Lownee's (not her real name... but close) 33rd birthday...

And why is this not a happy day, and why it is accompanied by that quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow and the rather esoteric montage? Because in July 2002, Lownee disappeared from my life... she didn't die, we didn't have a falling out, she just chose, on that day, to absent herself from my life.

It was all to do with the buttmonkey she ended up being engaged to, my former best friend and housemate, Ludo (also not his real name)... who, rather than face up to his responsibilities and problems will simply run away and cut off all contact with people... this time dragging Lownee with him.

Lownee is the one I mentioned right at the end of my post about my old gym journals... the "strangely familiar" woman who became my best friend.

And it all started over pasta... kind of.

I'd been having lunch with one of the (female) circuit class instructors for a couple of weeks, and I think she just said to me one day that she had accidentally double booked herself for lunch and was it okay if someone else came along. I figured it would be okay, and if not I could just leave as soon as was polite...

Turns out that person was Lownee, and we hit it off pretty much right away. A week or two later the instructor girl said she was booked in to have a leg wax or something, and she would meet the two of us after she was finished. Lownee and I went to Cafe Buongiorno and split a bowl of Tortellini Ala Pana (one bowl, two forks), which pretty much cemented our friendship (and our love for eating together) right there...

Later, because I wasn't working and she only worked until lunchtime on Tuesdays, I would go into the gym earlier, do a session, then meet her there and we would go for lunch and a gossip up and down Rundle Street. This also lead to an infamous couple of weeks where we dragged each other into various clothing stores and commanded that the other try on clothes... it's the only time I've ever contemplated leather pants, and led to Lownee trying on what was referred to from then on as "The Purple Dress", because all other dresses that happened to be purple paled before it... they also paled before it's price tag, but that's another story.

I kind of fell a little in love with her for a while, and there was a slightly odd incident when I'd walked her to her busstop and was saying goodbye, and looked down at her and just thought about kissing her, but couldn't work out why, or what to do, so I took the safe option and kissed her on the forehead...

Some weirdness followed for a while, but we got over it. If she had been a gay guy, well, I possibly would have been set for life and we would have lived happily ever after... or something...

She became my best friend, my noshing companion, my confidant (sometimes getting more information than she needed), my cheer squad when I needed it, a sounding board, and just the best galpal a gay boy could ask for... and I was all those things for her.
Is OK, cos my bestest bud girlfriend is really Yani, and even if he's not right THERE in the geographical sense, he's still my bestest girlfriend. - Lownee

Then she started dating Ludo on and off...

And Ludo and I moved from our very gorgeous apartment in North Adelaide to a very nice house in Golden Grove... the problem being that it was, well, Golden Grove, which is the Legoland of the North... all plastic and mass produced and miles from anywhere... and my relationship with Ludo was continuing to go steadily downhill, until I would come home from work, go to my room, maybe come out and get some dinner, go back to my room, go to bed, get up and go to work.

In the end Ludo decided, without consulting me, that it would be better if Lownee and I swapped apartments and she went and lived with him (supposedly platonically at that stage)... I didn't take to that suggestion terribly well, but fast forward ten years, and I'm still in the same apartment, so it might have been the best option really.

Because Ludo was an anal retentive control freak, he didn't like either me or another mutual male friend seeing Lownee when he wasn't around... a rule we broke as often as we could get away with (basically whenever Ludo was interstate for work)... the three of us plus a woman who worked with Lownee went out for a night of Mexican food and gay clubbing... the three of us had dinner and teevee nights... I went over one Saturday and Lownee and I hung out and wandered down along the beach... I didn't see her as often as I would have liked, but I still saw her...

Then she and Ludo moved to Canberra, for his work, and so I saw them much less often, but Lownee and I still emailed back and forth all the time, a practice we'd started when she was still here, and I think it kept us both sane... we wrote about what was going on in our lives, we wrote when we needed a distraction from the insanity of our respective workplaces... we wrote weekly with our reviews and predictions and comments about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

They did some other moving back and forth, but I can't remember it all... I do remember getting an email saying that they were "disappearing" off to Canberra and she would have to email me clandestinely from various libraries and such.

And then I got the email saying that they had to really disappear, and that I couldn't blame it on Ludo (like hell, said I!)... and two killer lines... one of which was "you can pretty much assume if you don't hear anything that we are both well and happy and looking after each other".... ummm, yeah, right.... not really a way to make me wish for their future happiness...
There are people in our lives, and it doesn't matter how long we know when for, or how much they screw with our psyches, or how far away they are, or who they end up with, or how long its been since you've seen them. And it doesn't matter what you're doing or who you're with. They will always have the power to make you stop and think and reassess your feelings about a whole lot of things.... - Lownee

Which is where the quote back at the beginning comes in... in my heart of heart of hearts (yeah, that deep), I KNOW that Lownee and my journey isn't finished, if only because I haven't had proper closure... and if I'm old and blue-haired and I turn the corner in Istanbul and there Lownee stands, I WON'T be surprised... because I do carry her with me everywhere... it's less acute now than it used to be, but certain movies, certain phrases, certain situations, or just Reese Witherspoon wearing her hair in braids in Cruel Intentions... they're all enough to make me think of her.

And if we don't manage it in this lifetime, well, I'm putting in a special request to The Powers That Be for another shot at it in our next lifetimes...

Oh, and the other killer line from her final email?

Back when Ludo and I shared the apartment, Lownee introduced me to the comic book/graphic novel/call it what you will... Elfquest... but before I'd really read any of it, she, Ludo and I took a stab at playing the roleplaying game based on the comic. We did one session of it, enough to come up with characters, and a tribe, and start a storyline and play a couple of scenarios... and then we kind of lost interest in playing it as an RPG. But once I have my creative hooks into something, I'm not one to let it go. I wrote a story about my character's background, and how he and his male partner came to be the fathers (yes, fathers, plural) of a child. Then, between the two of us, we fleshed out the rest of the tribe, and I wrote another couple of stories. And I kept bugging Lownee to come up with parents for her character, and some backstory. Finally, she gave me a fully completed story, longer than anything I'd written to that point, all about her character, just to shut me up.

That was when we started writing stories back and forth. I wrote about the loss of their home and their journey to find a new one. She wrote about finding a temporary home and discovering what happened to their old one. I wrote about our pregnant character giving birth. She wrote about deciding to look for new elves. I wrote about the hunt for those elves. She wrote about finding them.

And then she left.

We had a bunch of other stories in the pipeline, babies to be born, relationships to discover, a new elf tribe to integrate with... and because she was in the midst of writing a follow up to her discovery story, I don't know what happens next.

But the line in her final email that killed me... "Kill off the chieftess. It'll make you feel better". The tribe's chieftess was her character, more than that, it was her, just as my healer character was me in that world... and they'd developed the kind of relationship that Lownee and I would have had, had it not been for Ludo and his insecurities.

So, to kill her off... that meant that Lownee didn't plan on ever coming back into my life... and that just cut to the core.
And because even if you and I are miles and miles and miles and miles apart, somewhere, on a world with two moons, a raven haired Chieftess and a blue eyed Healer are sitting on the edge of a cliff somewhere, swinging their legs, watching the sunset and just enjoying the Now. - yani

Two and a half years ago, I got tired of not having any closure about the whole deal and I wrote her a very pointed, very heartfelt letter, saying everything I needed to say to her, telling her what I thought about her stunt of disappearing, and about a billion other things that I wanted off my mind.

I sent it to her parent's place here, with a cover letter asking them to forward it on if they could. I didn't get a reply to either that letter or the one to Lownee, so I assume they forwarded it, but whether she got it or not, I don't know.

I still miss her, and it still hurts on days like this, her birthday, but it's now a kind of dull ache as opposed to the sharp pain it used to be.

So Happy 33rd Birthday Lownee! Wherever you happen to be in the world, I hope the day finds you healthy, happy and enjoying yourself. I love you and I miss you.

Dammit... I was so sure I was going to get through this without getting emotional or crying... but writing that last line pretty much did me in... dammit dammit double dammit...

Where's the chocolate....

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Sunshine Monday, December 19, 2005 1:53:00 pm  

Awww. That's sad. I've been feeling a bit like that - not quite the same set of circumstance but close enough. Unfortunately things have to change in life. Chin up and look to the future. :)

GreerM Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:20:00 am  

All I can offer is a hug and a shoulder to cry on. :o) I too have had good friends just disappear. I know what you're going through. We know they've changed our lives and in the end we know it's for the better. I guess that's one reason "For Good" from the Wicked cast album is so poignant for me.

Muse Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:28:00 pm  

That's the saddest thing in the world - when friends drift in and out of your life. The other day i was googling an old friend and found a site of his with a picture. I haven't seen him since ...well 10 years maybe. I used to regret having wasted so many years of my life with my ex, because i wondered how good of friends we might have become. We just "clicked", you know? I think it's very rare you ever really meet up with people that you just connect with.

His site indicated he was married and happily. I thought about emailing him a hello, but I felt somehow him and me meeting up again was just never meant to be. Fate doesn't explain itself. So i closed the window and a chapter of my life.

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