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  • Charli

My Other Voice (s).

-Hi sorry I missed you, call me back.

-Hi it’s me – this is mad to keep missing each other, talk soon.

-Hi me again – can’t believe this has gone on 3 weeks. CALL ME.

-Hi – finally. What – oh, a workout, ok. An hour? Perfect. Talk then.

It’s often the way with J and I – weeks can go by but we keep trying- our friendship has withstood more than a few week’s silence over the years. We also keep up with text and Facebook, but more importantly we just know that the other is there as and when it’s really needed, or wanted.

Sometimes we book a phone date or Face Time with each other, glass of gin or vodka or wine in our respective hands and we can talk and laugh and drink and laugh for hours.

When we were 20 we planned a trip to Holland to visit some Dutch students whom I had met at college when they were in Britain to improve their English. The only mode of transport available to our impoverished purses was the over night bus to London, and then the  ferry. On the way, we chatted amiably, snoozing on each other’s shoulders, sharing our music, shoes, food, laughs.

We had fun in Nijmegen and were still on good terms. However when J insisted on us changing our travel plans home and getting an overnight ferry instead, we were forced to spend 16 hours in London, with no money, no energy and not much tolerance of each other.

By the time we were finally able to board the bus we were sitting rigidly in our own spaces, barely able to touch each other. The bus was packed so we couldn’t even sit elsewhere. Arriving back in Edinburgh we just managed to say good-bye with some restrained civility and breathed a sigh of relief to be going to our own homes.

Three days later, we spoke on the phone and the love and friendship – and honesty – was all still there.

We spoke today, and I heard answers to all the problems and issues that have been rattling round my head my head this last wee while, come out of her mouth in a reassuring, guiding and loving way. Her solutions and suggestions weren’t anything I hadn’t considered but as she said, ‘We’ve been around each other so long we just get it’. So true. Thank you.

My Other Voice(s) – a poem

You know me I know you, we know each other well –

friends we’ve been for 40 years, don’t we wear it well?

And when we don’t we work it out together or alone

and then spend hours laughing and chatting on the phone.

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