Questions of travel
As I estimated long ago, I'm very bad at long distance relationships, whether it be with family or friends. I am hot and cold when it comes to communication, and there are very few who get a relatively constant dose. Naturally, those nearest get the most (or brunt) of it, for they are the ones you see all the time. Like a radar, you can accurately chart the frequency of communication as distance grows larger. However, my 'contact map' also has element of topography, where a couple of hills rise out on the horizon for a few individuals. Of course, I'm talking monthly contact, if that, for a few, and the methods are different.
Of all the people I've encountered, the list of exceptions hasn't changed at all over the past decade or so. Jaquandor and I have been friends for the longest, and our method of choice has been writing. This medium appeals to both of our scribing sensibilities and tastes, and has only changed resultant from technology and not distance.
For instance, even when we were side-by-side in a classroom in Chemistry 11, we would pass each other notes, composed kind of like a questionaire, topics ranging from local gossip to the hot subject of how could he embarrass the character of "Captain Senoj" in the latest rendition of his screenplay. When I moved away, we switch to letter writing, resulting in some of the most lengthy prose one could imagine. I keep every letter I receive -- I still have a folder dedicated to this particular correspondence. With the advent of email, our exchanges converted to electronic form to take advantage of the convenience and ease of merely typing out your message and hitting 'send'.
(Of course, I don't keep these exchanges in a file; there is something aesthetically pleasing about a hand-written note or letter that the most beautiful font will never capture. Although communication is quicker and easier, I miss the days of writing letters. Being a sentimentalist, I write my girlfriend letters now and again.)
Next, came the Instant Messenger -- instant chatting and discussion as fast as you can type and read. No need for paragraphs, introductions or summary sentences. Just typing whatever comes to mind. More like a phone conversation really, except that you don't need to explain (necessarily) when you go "away". Jaq and I have had quite a few IM battles in our day. Finally, our last stage had become communicade-bloggo, really just chatting through essays, links and comments. I guess it's more like talking AT someone then to them, and really a lecturer in a room full of students. Nevertheless, there it is.
Another friend I've had since college has been Dave, a.k.a. Lisa (her nickname 'Dave' is far too silly a story to relay here). She and I often used the medium of the telephone most often. She moved around a lot and we are both (or can be) talkers and gabbing on the phone was how we best expressed ourselves. Dave is no slouch in the letter-writing department, but we just always seemed to enjoy verbally communicating more. She and I can fill up an hour on the phone, no problem.
Lastly, and both the most personal and impersonal communicatee, is my friend Gary. We don't chat on the phone, we don't write, we hang out whenever we can. Although this can be sometimes 6 months from time-to-time, it's how we relate. The phone is used to arrange meetings, email used to ask when the next golf outing will occur, letters (these days -- when he was in Korea, there were letters, I assure you) to congratulate on being alive one more year. However, he and I are like antic goofballs when we are in each others' presence. We goad each other on and I never laugh as much as when Gary's around. We have fun together, and talking or writing just isn't the same.
Three old friends, three mediums. Three people I'm fortunate to still have in my life. Thanks.