In Case of Emergency ..
I’m really not a very good friend. I’m not good at regular walks, meeting for coffee, phone calls etc etc and all the things friends are supposed to do. I have always had a gift for laziness which I have worked at developing over the years and I think I’ve reached professorial level now. I await the day when someone calls and asks me to appear in court, or on TV as an expert witness on the subject. Except I probably wouldn’t actually bother to answer the phone. I’m not saying I chose to be apathetic, it just kind of happened.
However, in an emergency, I can absolutely always be counted on. But since I’m not around during non-emergency situations I often don’t know when I’m needed. This is a problem and I’ve been thinking about how best to deal with it. I’d like it if there were a big light which appeared in the sky a la Batman, or if I could have a RED phone which only rings during a crisis, like in those old movies where you know the pinstriped gentleman behind the desk is making a VERY important phone call because he uses the red phone with the flashing light on, the one which doesn’t ring but makes a sound like someone squeezing a goat very hard in short, regular intervals.
No matter how hard I try I can’t come up with a short cut. It’s infuriating and I’m railing against it furiously but there it is. Friendship is a commitment, not a kamikaze mission. It’s like anything else that makes life sweeter, everything! From kitchen utensils, books, and nail scissors to good food, shelter and water - it needs to be easily accessible. The last thing anyone wants to do in an emergency is to start hunting for something (or someone) to help. For example - somewhere in my house there is a repair kit for bike tires. For ages I’ve been meaning to find it and put it on the shelf next to our bikes, I know quite well there’s no way I’m going to go and look for it when my tire’s actually flat. What is more likely to happen is I will simply stop riding my bike, and it will sit and molder away while I miss out on all the joy I could have had.
So I guess I better reassess my priorities. After all the smallest action is better than the greatest intention. So I hope you’ll all bear with me while I take a few wobbly steps outside my comfort zone, it’s going to take a while …