Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Echoes from another life

I got an e-mail from an old friend today, and it made me smile in a wistful "been a long time" kind of way. Many moons ago, before we got married and got to work populating suburbia, Beloved and I used to hang out with Ralph and a bunch of others every Friday and most Saturday nights. Back in the day, we lived in a downtown neighbourhood in a gorgeous little apartment at the top of a steep flight of stairs. We hung out with Ralph and the gang at the Clocktower Pub or Wall Street or other disreputable establishments, drinking microbeers and screwdrivers and talking about indie animation and 1960s TV sit-coms and whatever movie we had just been to see.

I miss those days, and I miss those guys (and girls, but they were mostly guys and even the girls - me included - would be more than happy to be considered "one of the guys" anyway). Even though we still see each other every couple of months, and even though each reunion is filled with genuine affection, our lives are so different that sometimes it's hard to find common ground. Most of them are still single, childless, and following a different kind of dream.

Ralph just wrapped up shooting on his first-ever indie film, a horror short called Hidden Darkness. I'm so happy for him, because even back in the day this was something he was working toward. The credits read like a who's-who of the old days, and as I read it I have pangs of regret that I couldn't have been a part of the fun. Then reality thunders in with a reminder that I go to bed most days probably around the same time that filming got underway, and that a film set is probably not the safest place for a pair of boys who manage to find trouble regularly in my meticulously babyproofed kitchen, let alone on a gore-splattered indie movie set.

I was going to say I'm not the girl I used to be, but I don't think that's quite right. Even back then, I was biding my time until we were in the right place to have a family. It's the only thing I've ever wanted out of life and it would be trite to say I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm the same girl, just a little bit more tired than I used to be. I guess that happens as you slide through your thirties, kids or not.

It's curious to hear from old friends still stomping the same grounds you left behind. Getting together with these guys is like an echo from another life. The sweet irony is that although our lives are so very different, both Ralph and I have fulfilled our heart's desire. We both have the thing we most wanted back in those beer soaked conversations at the pub. I have my babies, and he has his movies. It's a good life.