By Georgia Horrocks
Disclaimer: I got into contact with an old friend and after much deliberation I decided to write about it. If you’re reading this, please excuse a sentimental old fool – the Christmas spirit rather got to me.
I don’t have many friends that I’ve lost touch with. The main culprits are ex boyfriends and although I want to do everything on Marc’s Christmas list I don’t really want to be opening cans of worms on Christmas day.
One day this December, I was sat in the studio and logged onto my Facebook to be reminded that it was a friend’s birthday. Facebook didn’t know that this friend, and her sister, had left us last year. Her profile has become a sort of ghostly presence, a pixilated spectre that lurks behind friends’ holiday selfies and event invitations, catching me when my defences are down. But I can’t bring myself to remove her from my feed.
Marc speaks about channels that day. Someone is saying something positive about Facebook and I feel pissed off. I think of that treacherous ‘channel’ and wonder if Hades has modernised – exchanging the Underworld for the the Web in order to torment us with synthetic photographs and memories pinned onto Walls. But days later, when Marc reads the list out, I wonder if Facebook could become an ally once more.
When I go home for Christmas, I suggest a visit to our lost friends’ parents. My Mum is still the godmother to their son, after all. A look of sadness passes over her face and she murmurs something along the lines of, “Too soon”. I don’t push, but I wonder if she means, “too late”.
There’s a history, you see. A fall out between families before the accident that put an end to the shared Christmases and holidays. We didn’t go to the funeral. Letters went unanswered. Grief mixed with guilt is a bitter cocktail to swallow.
Christmas passes, the New Year creeps forward. In the limbo between the two I draft a Facebook message to their Mum. Today is New Years Eve and I’ve clicked send.
I really hope to hear from our old family friends.