I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Old Friends

There's a certain type of old, childhood friend, isn't there, who's so familiar to you that you can predict nearly everything they're going to say and do. But that's kind of all right, as just their presence alone reminds you fondly of your youth, when every day was excitingly unpredictable.

Pink Floyd, I recall, once wrote a piece called 'Comfortably Numb', but this one's called 'Comfortably Bored'. I wrote it in my head in bed last night - two places where I write many of my poems.

Comfortably Bored

You really bored me with your drunken talk
Of God and Kant and Wittgenstein,
Of long weekends in Crete and crap Greek wine,
Of kidney problems and the parlous state
Of heart, lungs, liver, bowels and prostate,
Of lack of sex and too much sodding telly,
Of shrinking brain cells and a widening belly,
Of Natalie on Strictly, of divorce,
Of how you should have backed that bloody horse.

You really bored me, but I heard you out.
Even when you started to rant and shout
I still half-listened (also spent some time
Tinkering with this poem and its rhyme),
For this is how old friends fill up their days:
Boring each other in comfortable ways.

12 comments:

Dominic Rivron said...

Larkin for our times!

I find it hard enough to talk about Wittgenstein when sober.

Alistair said...

I really really enjoyed your poem. It came at a good time. Thank you very much. I'm going to send it to my old friend...

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, sometimes solitary seems the better option. I have a few friends who I often wish I could edit.
x

Ruth said...

Perfect ending for this delight.

George said...

A great little insight into old friendships, Robert, those is which intolerance is not an option. There's much to be said for being comfortably bored, versus unmitigated boredom.

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth - I've just reread my comment on your comment yesterday, and realise some irregular followers of this blog may interpret this as that I like it when you're silent! Of course, I know you know what I meant, but I think i could have expressed it slightly better. (Though probably being overly-sensitive here. A bad habit of mine.) Suffice to say, I like your long expressions, your short expressions, your everything really.

Thanks, too, Dominic, Alistair and Rachel for your pithy remarks.

The Solitary Walker said...

And thanks, George, also, for your great comment!

Goat said...

Oh God, so YOU know him too!

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, he emigrated to Australia in 2008, muttering something about Coopers' Brewery, kangaroo racing and a chick called Sheila. Didn't understand a word of it and haven't heard from him since. Sorry he came your way.

Ruth said...

Ah! And now I'm smiling because my short comment today could seem a response to yours yesterday!

Hahaha, oh I love it. I did know exactly what you meant and did not take it in any way other than appreciatively. I do always seem to have so many words to say to you, and it was indeed a bit of an unusual surprise to be so dumbstruck. Which is to demonstrate just how beautifully smitten I felt from your photographed scenes (and imagining being there).

Friko said...

If you really know him and he you, treasure each other.

Sometimes I wish I had one of those you describe. How comfortable and comforting that would be.

Nearly all the people I meet in my particular, small corner of blogland praise the joys of intimate friendship. I'm almost inclined to think that I'm missing something.

The Solitary Walker said...

Friko - I have all my life yearned for intimate friendship, but have achieved it rarely. If and when it does happen, it is precious indeed.