Dragged

So this is crazy. I'm watching the finale of Rupaul's Drag Race Season 9 and I got misty eyed.
Oh, I already know who won thanks to FB spoilers starting at 5pm PDT.
But when Sasha and Shea finished their challenge and then just hugged each other, realizing that only one of them could move on and one of them was going home… I nearly cried.
You could see all season how these two loved each other.
You can see in their eyes, their faces, their body language that these are two people who care deeply about one another.
SashaS9

I miss that.
It was so easy to make deep friendships when I was 20. All it took was a common interest in vodka or Disneyland and we were fast friends. If you enjoyed cabaret nights or open mic show tunes at Ozz Supper Club, then we were best mates. That's all it took. Simple.
I look at my life with Teresa during those early years, and all we had to start was a mutual friend. No, not just vodka, I mean Kent. From that single point of contact, she and I became friends, roommates, and best friends. It was so easy.
In my 30s it was more of a challenge. I did it to myself, though. I moved to Europe and changed. I came back and withdrew from friends. I think that is probably the last time I really had a "bestie" that I shared everything with. Living with Mark in Sheffield was a pinnacle and the start of the decline. Having someone to share with at home, someone to drink with in the pubs, someone to go out to Poptastic with and dance for hours, someone to teach me all things British… it was built-in. It was wonderful. But it also meant that when I returned to the US on my own, it would be harder.
I traveled for most of my 40s, never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. I relied on people in Los Angeles to bring me into their circles, but that didn't work; our expectations weren't the same. What I wanted and what he offered didn't match. Florida provided some amazing opportunities - similar to England where things were "built in" - but Orlando is 3000 miles away and though I might wish to move there, it would mean giving up my teaching career, and if I'm not a teacher, what am I? I'd just be… lost.
As I am now just 6 months away from 50, it's damned near impossible. I have one good friend that I put way too much pressure on to entertain me. I'm extremely solitary in my hobbies other than going out to eat or drink with him. Photography can be a shared group experience, I suppose, but for me it is a very lonely entertainment. I set up my shot, I go and shoot the image, I come home and process the pictures, I share them on my blog.
I talk about photography too much to people who don't really care about it, and I can feel them getting bored with me but I don't know what else to talk about. Teaching? Even worse.
Nobody wants to hear about my day in the classroom. The things I find fascinating or lovely are only seen that way because I know these kids. If you don't know what a success it is that Ernesto turned in an assignment this month, then my story is really not very enjoyable.
If I've learned something about friendship in the past half-century, it is this:
Get a hobby.
Make a tribe.
Share your life.
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