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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Jenna

We met in the basement of the pub where I was holding auditions. She didn't get the role and I'm not sure she ever forgave me. We became friends and I don't remember much of it from those years. I'm guessing we saw movies together and met for coffee. I have no idea. How crazy is that? We went to see a comedian at the Riverside Studios, I remember that.

It's weird how some friendships stick and some don't. You can never really tell. I made great friends even just last year, and one or two are still around and some have names I'd struggle to recall.

Jenna stuck.

One thing I remember clearly is her coming to mine for help with an audition video for a drama school in New York. She had her piece prepared and we filmed it. She looked to me for advice and ideas, and I duly obliged, not that I knew anything about what a drama school in New York would be looking for.

She sent the video, the application and whatever else to the school and things carried on as normal. She helped out on one or two of my film shoots. She was a great actress, even then, but I never cast her. Weird how that happens. And I'm not writing this to tell you that we're the closest of friends, because we're probably not. And I'm not writing this to tell you that it's a romantic thing, because it isn't. I'm just writing to say that she means something to me and that it's great to have someone who means something to you because how often does that happen?

She moved to New York.

We kept in touch. But we did it in our way, where we turn up in each others inboxes in easily digestible little notes every now and then.

And then I went to New York.

She let me crash at hers and she let me take her bed. Looking back, why did I allow that? I was definitely selfish. Her stuck out in the lounge with a crazy hyperactive cat, and me hogging the room.  I'd love to tell you that we had an amazing week full of adventure -- and at times we did, but mostly I feel like we didn't really get along at all. Not that anything bad happened --- but she was crazy busy and I was crazy touristy and probably demanding of her time. I went out and fell in love with New York and we'd meet up occasionally and we saw a Knicks game ----

And then it was time to leave.

The moment I'm going to tell you about was probably thirty minutes before I got in a yellow taxi and left.

We were in some bar. I think it was near to her school. And I can't remember a specific conversation or anything at all. But I remember that feeling. How to describe it? It was just a moment, y'know? And I'm not talking about a romantic moment, because it wasn't that. It was just that moment when you know you have a friend, you know you understand each other, and that you like each other. It was the first time in the whole week that we were relaxed. And we loved each others company.

I headed to JFK.

That was in March. April through to October was the usual; just me doing my thing in London with the rain falling down.

In November I jumped on a plane to New York City.

I didn't stay with Jenna. And I had plans. There were film shoots, meetings, new friends. This time, whenever we met up, it worked. Again, I'm not totally sure what we did, nor how often, although I do remember a lot of meeting up for cake. What else? I don't know. The specifics of New York memories often fade and you're just left with the feeling.

In December I went back home.

Nearly a year passed and we kept in touch via Facebook, because that's how people keep in touch. Looking back, the emails were surprisingly long and usually about nothing. But the good kind of nothing.

The following year, October came around and I headed to New York. I saw her in a play and cast her in a film. We ate cake and drank tea, or maybe she had coffee. I don't know whether we spent a lot of time together or not much at all but it was just the right amount. We walked and talked in Central Park. We had more cake, we were always eating cake.

Pretty soon I was back in London.

Some months later, she was back home too. But I didn't tell you: she's not from London. She's from a whole different part of the world. She flew back there and I stayed here.

Three years have passed.

I know only a fraction of her life. And some of that fraction has been enormously bad. We became friends when a bunch of awful things were happening in my life, and in more recent time she's been through some things that I can't even imagine. And those versions of us in New York, eating cake and walking through the Village, they're like ghosts. Like movies starring people pretending to be us.

We keep in touch, in our way. We always know that the other one exists. We don't Skype as much as we should. And I should go there, or she should come here, or we should both go to New York. It's just that life doesn't always work like that.

Jenna is fantastic. Some friendships stick. 

Care to share?

12 comments:

  1. In all honesty I don't have time to be on facebook today, I don't even have time to procrastinate but I am so pleased I thought 'screw that I'm gonna read this blog post'

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  2. This was an incredibly compelling post. Go see your friend or make plans to because life is short or can be. Friends that "stick" mean the world to me as it sounds they do to you as well.

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  3. I've been thinking about friendship a great deal recently, one in particular. I loved how you wrote about your friendship and the way you ended the post.

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  4. I love the way you write. I feel as if I want to say more but I think I'll just get muddled. So I'll stick with that. I love your writing. The lines resonate.

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    1. Thank you so much! Would love if you say more -- I have no problem with muddled. In fact, I prefer muddled!

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  5. Really beautifully written post here. It's amazing how many people we meet in our lives but then how many people really stick with us. Few people stick with us like Jenna has for you.

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  6. This is just lovely. I hope you get to eat cake together again soon.

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  7. Loved this post. I've had many of the same thoughts about my blog.Thanks a million and please keep up the delightful work.

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