It dawned on me the other day that the people with whom I worked for 15 years are in another place in my life now. Friend-wise, I like to keep in touch with people. I recall my AP English teacher saying to us, the seniors in her class, "Most people only have five good friends their whole life. Chances are, the people you feel are your five right now, will not be five years from now." She had a thing for fives apparently. She also said that E.T. was a Christ figure. But we can discuss that another time.
Most of the class acted in denial, "as if!" I didn't, because some of my friends from kindergarten were sitting with me in the class. I still keep up with them. But keeping up is different from constant contact isn't it?
Because of social media platforms you can "keep up" with former classmates and co-workers, should you want to. However, I meant a more active friendship when I started writing this. If you work with someone, you see them every day. You know about their families, you know when they're sick, you know what they smell like.
That type of knowledge implies a certain type of intimacy. And it's that type of intimate give and take that the people with whom I spent 15 years is lost.
Now, is such a drift intentional? I don't think so. Am I broken up about it? Not really. It just hit me as a little bit sad. And it hit me as a lot like school. I wasn't buds with all 700 students in my high school class (class, not school, that was more like 4,000). Same with the radio station. I was closer to others, and that is the way of things.
Now, I realize that I will most likely never have that workplace comeraderie again. As an independent contractor it's just me and my clients. Going into each relationship I know it could be very short term, or long term. Same thing with being on a set. You gravitate toward other crew members who seem to be someone you'd get along with. Someone whose about page is not instantly there for you to check and see what they're into. You have to find out all on your own.
And perhaps that's my point. Once you discover the person behind the public facade everyone has to some extent or another, you form a different kind of bond. You create a community. Some bonds are stronger than others. Some just come undone and drift away.
No one knows when the goodbye will be permanent.
Now am I going to say "be kind to each other"? No. will defer to who says, "don't be a dick." I think that if everyone, as a whole, realized, just a little more often, that this contact (in person or online) could be final. Today you could be saying your last words to someone, or be making your last post, or writing your last witty remark. If that occurred to the the world's inhabitants more often then perhaps there would be a little more effort to do better, to be funnier,to be friendlier, to succeed.