Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm easy.

I didn't have a good morning today. My work was not going well; in sheer and total desperation, I headed out to walk four miles or so. Halfway through, the sun burned through the fog, turning me into a sweaty, angry wreck by the time I made it back home.

And then the phone rang.

"Can you hear the ocean?" she said. Yes, I could hear a rhythmic rushing noise in the background, restful and so much different than the sound of the ocean here, which competes, not always successfully, with the noise of helicopters, airplanes, motorcycles and glass-pack-muffled '48 Chevies.

And I could hear the voice that makes me smile...happy, relaxed, with the unique, musical lilt of her heritage still strong despite the influences of different accents around her.

Grouchy as I was, I couldn't stop a smile from forming. I'm easy like that when she's around, whether we're talking on the phone or sitting next to each other.

"I'm studying," she said, "but I wanted to call."

Studying? At the beach? Her dedication is one of the things I admire most about her.

I study at the beach too, of course. I study rocks, sand, seagulls, pelicans, waves, people; never books, though.

What a nice mental picture it made: there she was on the sand, lithe and sleek as a seal, book in one hand, a pen for note-taking in the other. I somehow knew from the first time we met that the beach was her special place, and knew even hurricanes could not keep her away from it.

I love the beach. It's a major reason why I stay where I am despite the expense and other problems. If you look at our respective beaches, though -- I'm over here on your left; she's way over there on your right -- you'll see she generally has the better deal. No earthquakes there, and as far as I know fewer signs warning people not to act like human beings. Or not to eat the fish.

We talked about work -- mine, mostly -- and I promised to send her my latest article when it's done. I value her insights; she is a far better writer than she knows. That shows through in the most commonplace articles she takes on.

And fair is fair, after all...I have done a little editing of her work, which is as pleasurable as any red-pencil work I've ever done. In part, of course, because her writing needs so little cleaning-up.

"I have 17 pages to go," she said. "I need to get back to it."

Somehow, that didn't matter. She had already worked her magic, and I went back to my work with a smile.

She knows what to say to me when I'm not at my best, even as she knows what to say when I'm happy.

How can one not love a friend like that?


Anonymous said...

A relationship which I understand well.


Anonymous said...

That's the best kind of friend to have...


DAL said...

If only we all had friends like that. I have one who makes me smile, no matter what we talk about, and we can talk about anything at all.

Justfly said...

Glad someone could bring a smile to your face.

Anonymous said...

You need to develop a closer relationship with this person who makes you smile. (Like you haven't already thought of that.) :)


Morphine said...

I have three friends like that.
All of which I love dearly.

I'm glad you have one, we all need someone like that in our life. Friend or otherwise.

MrScribbler said...

Morphine -- I'm not into numerology, but having three such friends myself I wonder what it is about that number?

The one I wrote about here is a little quicker on the draw than the other two, but I love them as well.

Kari said...

Those kinds of friends are the best kind to have. I'm sure she feels the same way about you.

ben said...

I FAR prefer Atlantic beachs to the Pacific - which is okay, I guess, but cold and seemingly always full of junk - whereas many Atlantic beaches are much warmer and crystal clear.

susananne said...

Anyone who can make you smile is a precious friend. Am glad you have someone who can do that for you Mr Scribbs.