24 August 2011

is ago quod diligo

this to spend time and to value highly...


At the weekend I met with my old friend Mia at Tracey and Bod’s party. I hadn’t seen her for, five years she says, such a long time. We were speculating about if you want friendships you have got to nurture them and put some work into maintaining them. We both agreed we didn’t do that, couldn’t be arsed to do that and, you know, we always knew that that person was there and that we had occasional thoughts about them and still loved them despite never actually making an effort to go see them specially. You can of course always pick up where you left off with a friendship. Can’t you? So it doesn’t matter if you don’t see them much. Does it? Mia said it was five years but it seemed like just one year to me. Or ten minutes.
Mia’s old friend Rebecca ended up playing a little set with her. Mia was already on the decks playing a few tunes she’d dug out and I’m going to Rebecca, with Mia’s encouragement, go on, join in and play a few with Mia. I always fondly remember them playing together at parties through the years but it was only later in the evening that Mia told me that that was the first time they had played together for 12 years. I nearly shook my head off in disbelief. 12 years? Couldn’t believe it.
I had my brother down the other week picking his tools up that I had stored for him while he sorted his life out. He recently sold his house and wanted to go travelling with the little money he made off selling it and paying his debts off. I asked how long he had lived there. He said it had been 10 years and in all that time I had never visited him once. He just looked at me. Didn’t say a word; just looked. Oh, the shame. In my mind he had just moved in and I was, I really was, still planning to visit. It’s the same with my Mother; she’s lived in Canada for over 20 years and, you guessed it, I still haven’t visited.
I remember this young girl around 16 or 17 who started coming to tVC parties around 1995. She was what people would describe as a wild and free person; pursuing her own agenda; exploring life in her own way. Everyone respected her strength. She always had a good thing to say about everyone – unless you pissed her off -  and always had a smile on her face. She loved partying, as we all did. She had a great face; her teeth really filled her round face when she smiled. Her hair always pulled back. She wasn’t a feminised, girly type of woman or an androgynous no sex person either but she was assured in her sexuality and always had a great bear hug and a growl for her favourite people. Before I know it, she’s suddenly in her 30’s. She went off for a while and came back to Whitstable and I met up her with again at the that bastion of liberal left leanings, the Whitstable Labour Club, a few years ago where she would go quite often; I think she worked there as well. Everyone at the Club loved her and and when she entered the room everyone would be shouting out 'hi Sash'. She was well liked but sometimes clashed with people who tried to dictate to her or give her ‘advice’ or tell her off for laughing so loudly or being drunk. My God she had a loud laugh. The biggest, loudest  laugh was always for her detractors and her friends. The drunker she got the louder she got. She always laughed, sometime too heartily, at all my crap jokes. I loved her for those personal moments she gave me, her smile, and her hugs, the late night chats. Her name was Sascha Bishop and unfortunately she died last weekend when she fell out of a window supposedly trying to get a better signal for her mobile phone. She always did things her way.
For me it was yet another moment that rammed home the passing of time. How I just sit around on my fat arse barely engaging with the world or my friends who love me or who want my time or attention and I’m, as another dear, yet neglected, friend Jenny Wareby so succinctly put it, ‘too up my own arse’ to notice or care. A bit like Sascha in a way, common sense is not my strong point and when I wonder where all my old friends have gone and why they don’t come to me I realise that friendship is a two way street and when someone like my brother stops coming to visit me because he’s just waiting for me to make the effort to go and visit him and, now, for me it’s too late as he’s off in the van he bought and I’m not going to see him for a while.
I’m not going to see Rebecca or Mia for a while either and as I moaned to Mia about my 50th birthday party last year, reeling off a list of names like Timo and Jes and the rest of the Dover lot, who never came to celebrate with me because, let’s face it, I rarely made the effort to go and see them, I realised how hurtful inattentive friends can be and how much damage they can inflict on the people who love them and when their love is not reciprocated.
If I do go out or do make an effort it is always to play a DJ set somewhere. I’ve got loads of time and energy for that but then again if it wasn’t for my Djing I’d probably never go out at all. I be sitting there in my living room looking through lists of tunes, fiddling with the tech and avoiding eye contact with the world. Just like a DJ does.
I’m also going to miss Sascha a lot; not that I hung out with her much these days; she was one of those friends, those cozy friends who you know so well for so long and occupy that warm, familiar part of your brain that you put the people you love in. I did end up in the same room or pub with her sometimes of late; like the rest of the Whitstable night life folk we do love a drink and a late night talking bullshit till sunrise. No, I’ll miss her because this is one old friend I will never get the chance to catch up with and ‘carry on where we left off’, never get the chance to not visit her or bump into her around town or at a party and to look into her smiley moonface and laugh at that silly wave she used to do. Such a shame that the very act of neglecting and not nurturing friendships and the hurt I feel because of it was rammed home that day I heard about her death.

There I go again, feeling sorry for myself and using someone elses tragedy as the reason to feel that way.Or maybe life is just like that sometimes?