Of My Blog & Fading & Renewing FriendshipThursday, October 09, 2008
I have written of friendship and the loss of it here but it has been much in my thoughts of late. In that previous blog I quoted Harold Bloom from his book How To Read And Why:
"We read not only because we cannot know enough people, but because friendship is so vulnerable, so likely to diminish or disappear, overcome by space,time, imperfect sympathies, and all the sorrows of familial and passional life."
Last night I read something most similar from Julian Barnes's nothing to be frightened of:
"I look around at my many friendships, and can recognize that some of them are not so much friendships any more as memories of friendship."
Not too many months ago I finally was able to communicate with my cousing Georgito O'Reilly in Buenos Aires using Skype and a webcam. After a few minutes of conversation, Georgito, who has never ever not said what he thinks told me, "Here we are talking and yet we seem to have so little in common to talk about."
I attempted to call a friend in the US with Skype but was stopped by the firewall of an answering machine that accepted no anonymous calls. Skype by its very nature is anoymous when one calls from computer to telephone. So I called up my friend on the regular phone and I was told he hated the phone but I could try his cellular. On another day I didi just that but I was cut off very quickly by, "Alex I am at my mother-in-law's and she hates for me to be on the phone, besides I don't really need to talk to you because I read your blog. I know what you are up to."
Today I spoke with a local friend on the phone and began to tell him of my experience of reading the Julian Barnes book but I was interrupted, "I know all about it, I read it in your blog."
My first cousin, Jorge Wenceslao de Irureta Goyena was my favourite cousin when I was a small boy principally because he was the only one I saw regularly. I lost him for a few years and saw him again when we were both 21. You can see us here (and further down when we were younger playing with his father's U-control airplanes) in a photo taken by simply extending my Pentacon F clunker camera in front with the self-timer in operation. It is in hazy focus but you can see the difference between us. he had inherited the dark good looks of his Argentine mother whose family hailed from the province of Corrientes. At the time of this photograph Wenci and I had a deep disagreement on Piazzolla and tango. According to Wenci Piazzolla was not tango. He was the conservative one while I argued that the tango had to evolve into something new. Somehow my memory does not tell me much as to why we didn't see much of each other.
From his father, Antonio, who lived in North Carolina I found out quite a few years ago that Wenci had gone to meet up with him there. Then there was nothing and my uncle died. There were rumours (most shocking to Wenci's conservative family) that he had married a black woman with children. I did not know if this was true.
With the advent of internet and Googgle I have been trying to tie up the loose strings of my life and I have located just about all the people that have meant something to me. In some cases I caught up with their trail a few months after their death and with others just in time. But the one I simply found nothing on was Wenci.
Many of my friends and relatives did what most do as soon as they get internet. They Google themselves. Many found my blog and found me when I could not find them. Wenci was the holdout. I even managed to find his stepmother in North Carolina who told me that he had gone back to Buenos Aires after having lived in North Carolina for 19 years.
It was a week or two ago that Wenci finally bought a computer and he did the obvious and he found me from a blog this one one about death!
So we are back communicating with email and Skype phone calls. Pictures have been flying back and forth and I wonder when I or he will feel like Georgito O'Reilly that we might just have so little in common?
In the other photo taken about the same time as the one with Wenci (also with a self timer but with the camera leaning on something) I am with my first real sweetheart, Corina. In recent years I hear little from her. She lives in England and has two boys. I sometimes prod her into answering.
While surfing my blog my cousin Diane Hayward found this one. She was amazed as she had known Corina in school. Diane was older but they had gone to the same school. My cousin Elizabeth Blew and Corina had been classmates. Just a few days before finding my blog Diane and Elizabeth had run into Corina at a play. Corina had returned to BA for a few days to arrange the selling of a property. My name had no reason to be mentioned. But it was later. In fact Corina took singing lessons with Diane's mother my Aunt Iris. I guess I am the culprit that in my brief relationship with Corina I never mentioned the names of my cousins.