Thursday, April 15, 2004

The events of 4/14. This morning I dragged myself out of bed to go to work, and at the tram stop, a guy with his arm in a sling said "Hi!" I had no idea who he was, and a horrible possibility flashed into my mind - that I might have had some kind of drunken altercation with him last night, hence the sling. Thankfully, he turned out to be a friend of my ex-housemate Loz, and he'd had a shoulder reconstruction a couple of weeks ago.

As you can probably imagine, I got pretty hammered last night. Sometimes I visualise my liver as a black, bloated, rotting thing, like lungs in those anti-smoking ads. I think it speaks volumes about where Penny is at right now that when I called her up to ask if she'd drink with me, she said she didn't want to go out because she had a cold. Tash, however, was waiting for me when I got to St Jerome's, and she and Emma showed a gratifying disapproval at the prospect of me drinking alone and insisted I come out with them after their Spanish class.

But that left me a good two hours' solo drinking time, which I put to good use. By the time they met me at Rue Bebs, I was on my fifth stubby (two more would be drunk before the night was out) and doing some serious brooding about why I have become such a poster child for the sorry institution of Just Friends. Tash deflected my lament that "if I were thin and beautiful he would want me" with the insouciance of a kitten batting at a ball of wool. "Well then he would be a superficial bastard that you wouldn't want anyway," she said. But that's too glib.

He told me that friendship is "not a small thing", and I'm trying not to be bitter about this like I was in 1999, when I wrote in my diary about being offered "the used teabag of friendship." But, and I realise the irony of expressing this in an online medium, it makes me so sad that the things that make me such a good Just Friend have nothing to do with my body and everything to do with my brain: my personality, my ways of expressing myself, my ideas.

But I am not just my brain! It depresses me so much to think about interacting with people every day, occupying space, using my body, and never ever having anyone else's body react to the way I look, the way I move, the way I feel and sound and smell and taste. Being a Just Friend is the ultimate rejection: it's a rejection of me as an embodied person.

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