Guy-Friends

Jimmy T has been sick.

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Do you have any drug allergies?  If none, need to ask for Klacid.  Won’t kill flu, but will shorten suffering…Need to drink lots of water, and maybe eat ochazuke with extra wasabi.  Hope you get better soon.  Ja ne!

(Perfect prescription, Dr Chan said, when I repeated my text to him.)

Wah!  Thank you, Tammy for the tidbit…talk soon, have a great day.  Ja ne!

I’ve made a new friend.  His name is Jimmy T.  I like everything about him- his kindness, his humility, his humour.  He comes from a culture I’m familiar with, so it’s easy to banter.

256723_236918569657882_1391741_o(photo credit- Jimmy T)

If we all lived in the same city, I would invite his wife and him over for dinner.  His wife and my husband could possibly comfort each other, exchange notes on the reality of long-distance marriage and loving artists.  I know we would all get on.

Later in the day, I spoke to Amy.  Can men and women, really be friends?

1000504_10151606965318440_36658979_n (Amy and Jimmy- photo credit- Jimmy T)

Good question!  She said.  I think I’m the sort that errs on the side of caution.

Can men and women really be friends?  Absolutely.  I’ve been very blessed with good male friendships all my life.  Maybe it’s because I got a lucky head start with a younger brother, who before puberty and divorce, was honestly quite like a twin.

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At heart, I am also a tomboy.  I admit, I often find all the fuss women create, bewildering.

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The one rule I abide by- to be friends, neither must hit nor act predatory towards the other.  Sean has been my friend since we were 15; that’s 30 years.  We will still be friends if Life gives us another 3 decades, because Sean and I have never dated each other, and never will.

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I don’t talk cars, girls, sports with my guy friends.  We don’t talk about, feelings.  Once I said I was scared, and he said, The only thing to fear is fear itself.  Because it sounded so ridiculously cliche, we laughed my fear away.

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Much of my friendship with guys is rooted in the doing.

In LA, Eric was my best friend.

210978_10150964291175137_1401564958_o(photo credit- Eric Nakamura)

We were inseparable.  We saw so much art- film, photography, painting, poetry, dance.  He talked, I listened.  I talked, he listened.  On the beach in Santa Monica, when he jumped into the sea fully clothed, I immediately ran after him- wait, Eric, wait!

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When a guy-friend feels scared, I don’t hug, nor hold.  That’s for his wife to do.  I just stay, silent.  If he needs to get something done, but is confused by the Overland train, I go with him, to make sure he doesn’t get lost.

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When he is taken suddenly ill, I sit with his wife, ask my husband to visit with me, and explain in his gentle, doctor voice, what those charts mean, why his body involuntary shakes, and shakes.

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One of the traits I admire most in my male friends, is how expressive they can be, with economical speech.

How’s it going in NYC?  He asked.

Rather emotional trip.  Alberto Burri- ‘The Trauma of Painting’.

Never heard of him…

Neither have I, until today.  Quite stunning, dead already.

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Picasso at the MOMA- you know, Picasso?

Is he dead too??

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Alone!  Kiren texted from Brighton.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  Happy!

In pain?  Or not too bad?

No pain.  Itchy!!

DON’T SCRATCH.

Yes, Ma’am!

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Now it is almost Thanksgiving, and soon another year will pass.  So we watch each other grow together, apart, together again.  Guys make, terrific friends.

  •  Photographs of the children belong to Simon Wong.

 

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