Yesterday after a long session of chasing each other, Virtute and Gumption took a moment to relax and hang out in their favourite Amazon.ca delivery box. Lately, Virtute and I have been having these ongoing conversations about friendship and I thought this would be a great time to pick up where we had left off. Virtute and I tend to suffer from the same affliction, we are predominantly loners but are also very emotionally desiring of the company of others. This makes for many contradictions and is also quite taxing on the people that are closest to us.
So I asked him about the types of strategies he uses to deal with that paradox. He flinched at having the discussion in front of Gumption, but then relented, “I think tradition and ritual play very important roles in maintaining friendships. From the most mundane moments like when we are looking out the window at squirrels together to the most exciting adventures like our game of catch that takes place every afternoon around 3pm.” I told him that was insightful and that I had been trying to really emphasize periodic and annual traditions with friends and family too. He leaned back as Gumption rested her arm around his neck and then responded, “Jenny always tells me that I need to push myself; that I need to make new friends; and that I need to make sure I keep in touch with old friends. I know she’s right, but time and space are weird for me – the more I spend time alone the more anxious I am to hang out with others and the more distant I become. That’s why having ritual is important. There’s something to be said about just hanging out but being very deliberate about it at the same time… I dunno.”
I felt like we were both stuck, so I turned to Gumption to ask what she thought. “Me and Virtute are best pals,” she stated emphatically. I asked Gumption what made her so sure. She smiled and then looked at Virtute and whispered “pals”. I could hear the faint sound of purring coming from Virtute’s direction as he put his head down shyly. I could also relate to that exact feeling that comes from a friend affirming your friendship so simply.
Sometimes I guess we can just be pals.