Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What makes a friend?

This has been concerning me. What is it that makes you say, perhaps even after only a few moments, yes, I could go on liking this person? This person suits me. This person and I might fit...

Eleven months and 26 days in Kent Town, and still I do not have a Kent Town friend. I have Neighbour with Big Teeth who mends car; Smiley Warm Neighbour who looks after house when we go away; Neighbour of the Exploding Orange Hair who is nice to Anna-mouse; in fact I have neighbours till they're coming out of my ears. But no friend.

Now, the question has arisen, could a Neighbour, perhaps, become a Friend? Today something made me hopeful, when Neighbour with Cat Called Bobo (I know, I know: do I want to have a friend with a cat called Bobo?) turned up on the doorstep.

It was about 3.30pm. The Bim had kindly taken Anna-mouse 'down town' as he put it (absolutely not as glamorous as it sounds) to give me a moment to myself, when there was a fearful banging at the front door. Said Neighbour with Cat Called Bobo is there, looking very very worried.

"What's wrong?" I cry.

"Oh Livvy, I'm so sorry..." she begins.

Turns out, she might have chicken pox. She shows me nasty looking spot marks to prove it. She is beside herself with worry that she might have given them to Anna-mouse the previous day, when Bobo and Anna-m had bonding moment in the street, and nice Neighbour crouched down beside cat and child to seal the moment. She's had a sleepless night. She was thinking I might throw a wobbly.

Neighbour with Cat Called Bobo doesn't know that I need a friend. And anyway, what can I do? I can't - and don't want to - wrap Anna-mouse up in cotton wool... I am utterly gracious and concerned. It's not her fault. How nice of her to tell me...

And all the while we are talking I am experiencing strange weighing-up thoughts: could this person be a friend? Well, obviously not now this week, as Neighbour has sent herself to Quarantine until said spots go crusty or not, as the case may be. She said she'd let me know. Drop round in a day or two with a progress report.

Which, on the friends front, is progress in itself, don't you think?

No comments: