9 July 2004
I have a friend I have often referred to as my best [category] friend. Best friend, no, that's a horrible thing, the besting of friends, unless maybe at cribbage, but I digress. Friends ought not to be a total ordering. And yet, within that category, my friend was unquestionably the best I have. She has grown no worse, but another has joined her, just as good, friend of my heart in a different way. Different confidences, different relationships entirely, but still: same category. I used to have a best [category] friend, clearly and simply, and now I have some best [category] friends, and it's a little strange.
My old best [category] friend will not begrudge it to me, I think; she has a handful of [category] friends my equal in different ways, and that's been fine with me. She has more [category] friends in general than I do. I don't know if my new best [category] friend knows I'm talking about her.
They're both reading this. Hi.
It feels weird, though. It feels weird enough that I'm not using names or saying what category, because it's not the sort of thing you announce; or at the very least, it's not the sort of thing I announce. Because once you've proclaimed hierarchy like that, once you've said "best," it feels like a demotion to say, "Well, you're not really best any more, you're one of two best." Stupid ingrained hierarchical society.
I feel so lucky in my friends. All of 'em. Sometimes I wish some of them were a little geographically closer, but mostly I'm just amazed at the caring, interesting people I get to have in my life. Some of 'em drive me nuts, but I'm still glad they're there. I get all squooshy and sappy about my friends when I think about them as a concept. I can think, "Oh, I should make bars to bring along to picnic with Stella and Mike and Roo and Elle and Matt on Sunday" and not sniffle and tear up. I can look at my list of people to e-mail or call next week and, as long as I don't think of them collectively or too hard, I'll be fine. But – damn, I've got good friends.
I've had Blues Traveler's "Truth Be Told" album stuck with me in the last few days – in my head, in the traditional sense, but I've had the urge to hear it repeatedly. Not to the point my friend Manda used to do in junior high and high school (she would put a single song on a repeat loop), but still. I hadn't really gotten into this album before, but I think their albums take awhile to grow on me. I don't remember this happening with, say, "Four," but I started hearing songs from "Four" before I knew who they were. I'm listening to "Bridge" in an attempt to jolt my brain from the "Truth Be Told" track, but I'm not sure it's going to work. I also have a stack of Barenaked Ladies and Liz Phair and David Gray CDs on my desk, but I'm still wanting "Truth Be Told" again. I'm happily singing, "I want to raise my freak flag higher and higher," but deep down what I really want is another chorus of "Sweet and Broken" or "Let Her and Let Go."
I did the edits I intended to do on Thermionic Night; though it's not done by any means, the bit I meant to finish is done, and I can go back to Sampo. And, in fact, I will.
Had Green Mill pepperoni with my godfather Dave yesterday. Good time had by all.
"From the Hip Flask" is up at SDO Fantasy. Go, read, enjoy. It's one of my oldest stories that I considered worth attempting to publish. I think it'd be significantly different if I wrote it today, but that's what happens when you go growing as a writer and silly stuff like that. Anyway, I still enjoy the setting and characters; they're incorporated into a letter game (a slow one, but that's the best kind at this point) and will eventually be part of a novel. The Jazz Age and the Great Depression are underused as fantasy settings.
In the meantime, I'm going to work, and read Cloven Hooves and Helsinki of the Czars (and I'm sorry for the transliteration error there, it's not my fault), and go celebrate National Ice Cream Day. Hey, you! It's National Ice Cream Day! Go celebrate! Even if you're a vegan or lactose-intolerant or milk-allergic, sorbet is good stuff. Even if you're a Canadian, it's an excuse to have ice cream. C'mon, people. Frozen goodness.
(Tomorrow you can celebrate Local Ice Cream Day. The possibilities are endless.)
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