The rain is falling. In Windsor at least. It’s the end of a pretty damn wonderful long weekend and I am sitting here at the ol’ lap top with my cat on the desk to my right. Where he should be. He had a sleepover this weekend, with his friends Crackers and Briscoe, so when I got home this afternoon he wasn’t here. It really didn’t feel right – I kept looking for his little face around corners or through doorways. I’m so looking forward to a time when I have everything and everyone I love under the same roof.
Today I said goodbye to Angela. UK Angela, not Wagga Angela. Just in case you were wondering. She’s heading back to the UK after an insane bout of homesickness that really at points during the last 12 months in particular had me worried for her mental health. The thing is, regardless of how independent you are, you really can’t do things completely on your own. You can’t make your way without some form of support, whether it’s family or friends or a partner or whatever.
Also, often the thing you think you want turns out to be something else altogether. A physical place, a geographical location, a house – all these things are not a home. It’s the people that make home. Home for me, for a long time, was Wagga. Even living in Epping, if people asked where I was from, I’d say Wagga. Then home was a combination of Wilberforce and Newtown. There were times when that little, beaten up old house in Newtown, with Hell and Tony, was more ‘home’ than any other place I’d ever been. Home for me right now is a combination of Potts Point and Windsor. Wagga is more a place of origin for me now, rather then somewhere I call home.
And the idea of home for me is becoming a bit more abstract. It’s not a physical location – it’s perhaps the idea of walls and a roof, but it’s much more than that. It’s a conversation about religion or a joke about the Portland Trailblazers or a Bon Iver CD. It’s a space in between a head and a shoulder where my head fits just so. It’s take away Thai food and sitting on a bus sharing headphones. It’s sharing that moment at a gig right as the lights go down, before one of your favourite bands in the world come out on stage. I mean, I’m sure it’ll come to mean other things, and ultimately it’ll shift back to being equally about the physical space, but right now these things are part of what ‘home’ means to me.
It’s a new kind of normal.
Home for Angela is the United Kingdom. I’ve accepted that now. For a long time it was a combination of the UK and at various times Camden, Campbelltown and Rose Meadow. Part of me really believed, though, that she’d be here forever. She was just always THERE – reliable as Teflon, and always good for venting about whatever was on your mind. She understood my boss and my job. There are few people in the world I can say this about, and it’s more comforting than I can put in words. I feel like I spend far too much time in this life explaining my job. Also, she was the one who told me, maybe 3 years ago, that I was in a rut. This was at a time when I was (rather masterfully I thought at the time) telling myself I was doing so well in moving on and getting on with things. Not so much. And she called me on it. And at the time I was suitably indignant, but it took me roughly a week to get over myself and figure she was right. And in way she was part of the impetus of a lot of things.
I don’t like saying goodbye. I’m the sort of girl who chooses friends very carefully rather then collects acquaintances. I chose her and held on to her for a reason, and it sucks to be letting her go. I guess the real test of a friendship is the feeling you get when it either ends or completely changes course (like this one just has). Tonight, as well as feeling a genuine sadness, I feel thankful. Thankful that our paths did cross, that my lunatic boss did bring us together back in 1998, and thankful for what our friendship gave me.
I not a believer in fate, but I think you hang on to people for a reason. Tomorrow both she and her two ponies will be in an aeroplane over the sea. I hope, with all my heart, she finds what she is looking for.