As an early morning riser, I sometimes forget not everyone starts their day at 4.00 am. In this fit of forgetfulness, I have been known to call someone for a chat – ranging from a quick catch-up to needing to talk to someone.
When that someone is my twin sister at “that ungodly hour,” (unquote), she asks one question:
“Are you okay?”
If I answer in the affirmative, she hangs up the phone and we invariably catch up later that day – specifically that part of the day where the sun has made an appearance.
As systems go, it works for us.
Had I answered in the negative:
“No, I’m not okay and the world feels like a big, sucky black hole,”
my sister would stay on the phone with me for as long as I needed to talk, shout, cry or navel gaze.
As systems go, this was the lifesaver which often got me off the floor after Bronnie’s death.
Everyone needs a friend they can call at 4.00 am.
And I was once told all my close friends have one thing in common. Thinking about the disparate people I count as my intimates, I was hard pushed to think of anything an outsider might feel they all had in common.
For sure, all my friends make me laugh – intentionally or otherwise. My close friends also feel like family as we mostly go back a lot of years. And here I am also lucky enough to have family who feel like friends.
In short, if these people were not my intimates or family, they are people I would choose to be with – but what did they all have in common?
My friends are different ages, different colours, different sexual persuasions and have differing political views. True, we all share the same values of honesty, respect and the belief there are not enough glasses in a standard bottle of wine, but then of course it came to me:
These are people I would not hesitate to call at 4.00 am in the morning (whether they want me to or not) and I know they would be there for me. Admittedly, some would be there and asleep on the end of the phone – but still there.
And if Confucius didn’t say it, let me:
“Wishing us all a friend we can call at 4.00 am.”