It's not personal, really it isn't. I know I haven't responded to your phone call, letter, e-mail, blog post. I know it's been days, weeks, months, years. I've been meaning to get in touch. I think of you when I'm on-line, when I'm near a phone, when I read your words. My not responding is just the way I am, it's nothing personal, I ignore all my friends equally.
Surely you know that I will eventually resurface, perhaps long after I've been forgotten, or discarded by you out of irritation and impatience. When that happens, I do hope you'll forgive me, and be happy to see me, and hear all the silly distractions and petty obsessions that have kept me from you all this time. I've missed you always, even when I haven't remembered you for a while. I want to know how you've been, what you've done, who you've become, since I last was with you. I want the opportunity to vow to not let so much time pass before our next encounter, even knowing that much time will pass, and probably more.
When I finally do get in touch, I hope you are well. It can be dangerous to wait too long to respond to news - are you still in that great new job, still in the first phase of that new love? Or has the job turned sour, or is that love now fading? This makes me a bit hesitant to ask you personal things. It's not that I'm so cold, or that I don't care, it's just that I've lost touch, and don't wish to hurt you with my long-developed ignorance of your situation. I hope you understand.
My far-flung friends, rest assured that eventually I will find myself in your part of the world. I will do my best to let you know I'm coming, and where exactly I'll be. I hope you still wish to see me. I hope you're not on holiday, out of town, in hospital. And when you're in my part of the world, please let me know. I really, really do want to see you, and talk to you, and hear you, and be with you. Even when I neglect you.
*Photo: one of the many sculptures in the Norwegian garden at Frendensborg palace.*