I have circles.
Yes, dark circles. Also crow’s feet, laugh lines, a developing neck wattle, and creping where more muscle and/or fat used to be, under certain major areas of skin. Naked, I look like a younger, prettier version of Iggy Pop. But I’m not writing about my declining, physical characteristics. I’m writing about a circle… of friends.
All those who know me well, okay TOO well, will tell you that, while I despise living an organized life, I organize really, really well. Mostly professionally. Call it the Logistics Gene. Where some people couldn’t tell you their east from west, let alone their right from their left (DM me for the best line Nick Fury delivers in The Avengers on this subject), I have been “blesscursed” with the innate ability… almost a superpower really… to organize. Not on a “Does it spark joy?” level, but more on a “Come with me if you want to live” level. Point A to points B through Z level. Road map in my head, itinerary in a thought bubble, 3-D jigsaw puzzle in my field of vision, blesscursing Logistics Gene. It’s my default setting, my subconscious subroutine. It’s how I was able to live the first 57 years of my life without having to confront undiagnosed anxiety. Still “undiagnosed”, but no getting off-track here. Hell, part of the subconscious subroutine is, I can tell you an elaborately long and wind-y story, with seemingly no recognizable end in sight, and before you and I get irrevocably lost, I will find my way back to the point of the story, and end it, before you end our friendship. You will mock me, but you will respect me.
*insert your eyeroll here*
I alluded to this in November’s Episode Four, Rashomon.
In mid-September, I sent out the first of a series of texts and DMs to people I had considered what came to be called the “First Circle” friends. That is, those who would be told first, by virtue of the frequency of communications between the two of us. A couple of dozen folks. The essence of that message was to tell them that I had been gotten a preliminary diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma, and that I was waiting for further steps to be taken, which would ultimately lead to surgery. In late September, having been given a date for my surgery, I sent a second round of texts and DMs to the First Circle, and a similarly-crafted message to folks in what came to be called the “Second Circle”. Ultimately, with a couple of days to go before the surgery was to take place, a final “Third Circle” message was sent to let those who, for a multitude of reasons, I had not previously informed.
So, you know how you can think you know someone… until you REALLY know someone… and then you realize you really didn’t know them at all? I will never assume anything about a Circle Friend EVER again. Through this, I have learned that a friend is not that person you assumed they were. A friend is someone who exists in reality, not in your mind. And not in your own wishful thinking about them. And a good friend is someone who never thought they needed to try and convince you of who they already were all along.
See? I got us back to the point without either one of us getting lost… for long. So now, the point.
(end Part One)
(c) copyright 2020 William S. Friday