Friendship, Faux Grown-ups & Folly

6 Oct

It’s a strange feeling, growing up. But even stranger, is realizing that you thought you’d been grown up all along, but now, now you’ve actually grown up. (Just a small side glance to the audience to my right, perhaps we haven’t really grown up at all. Perhaps we never do. Because if growing up is about understanding things and knowing things and feeling things as they really are – and not as we want them to be – then maybe we can’t ever, actually, ever, grow up. I am sitting on the artificial lawn, surrounded by prison walls. Quite profound. It sits there, looming; a metaphor, an allegory, a motif…or maybe, it’s jut a historical wall that we’ve now built a university around. It’s lost all significance; all prisoners; all screams; all somnambulists – they fade with the times, like all specter things – imprints, allusions to something that once was there, and now is not. It surrounds the university like a cage, or perhaps a fortress. But it’s a museum now, not a prison. Just something we go and gawk at.

So we sit on the plastic grass, in a circle of sun, surrounded by shadow of the dark prison walls. And we talk about things. I have known her since I was a child – and though by this, I literally mean for 15 years – it would seem that perhaps I am still a child, because perhaps we all are. So perhaps I have known her since I first started being a child, and as children, we know each other still.

We are sisters. Not real sisters of course. Though we have often been mistaken for sisters by the colour of our skin; the hair always caught us out. Mine is dead straight and thin, hers is thick and frizzy, like a black American popstar from the 70s. So yes, the hair, always proves we aren’t real sisters. We are something better, I do believe. Sisters of a certain inner something that is quite inexplicable by blood or biological reasoning.  When I say an inner something, that is because I must deny any relation whatsoever to her, in anything at all that is visible or observable. When people say that so-and-so is their ‘other half’, they usually don’t mean that the person that is closest to them is actually the exact inverse of the self. She is an exact replica of all that I am and love, but then reversed. What I could call the antithetical polemical of our friendship. The paradox that renders a friendship impossible, ergo: we must be sisters.

Composed. In tears. Running onwards. Run away. One smokes. One eats cake. One breaks. One mends. One has had boys in her life, till they turned into men. The other, well, hasn’t at all. A love for knowledge, learning, education. One dropped out of school, then dropped out of TAFE, then pretty much dropped out of life for a bit (don’t worry, this won’t offend her, because she’s actually sitting right beside me).

As they were sitting in the sun, they realised something about life. Whilst one had broken up with her boyfriend the day before (whilst the other has had none at all), whilst one had abandoned her home long ago (whilst the other may well end up living with her parents for a life time. Maybe not quite that long) and whilst one planned to be out all night long to avoid the problems of uncovered secrets and regrets (whilst the other looked forward to her cosy blankets and a good sleep) both began to realise something terribly profound. The steps, the streets, the stairs, the moments, the leaps – they all lead somewhere. We grow old. We make mistakes. We make mistakes again. And it happens like it does in the movies. We always heard the term in books and films and songs; a lament to a loss of childhood innocence.

I actually thought, that I had already passed this stage of child-like naivity last year. After taking a year off after graduating in 2010. After I had turned 18. I thought I had grown up. But it’s not until you realize, that it’s not the new things you experience (like independence and travel and uni) but it is the old things that you suddenly experience in truth; in reality.

It’s not new, scary, frightening things that suddenly come knocking on your bedroom door. It’s the old things that have been with you in your bedroom, all along. You just never noticed that they were there; that there were monsters under your bed; everyday of your life, for a lifetime.

And before any of this happened. And before any of us realized this was happening, we were greatly deceived. Deceived into thinking, it was ever possible for a world of grown-ups to actually exist. We think we grow wiser, because we see wise grown-ups. But when the wisdom we think we’ve gained turns to folly, as it always, always does. Then the grown-ups are exposed as children. So what the world needs then, is not a festering quagmire of self-deceiving grown-ups, but a Father.

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