Sometimes, I find myself thinking about friendship, about what it is and how it even happens and it begins to seem so strange. It’s like when you say a word over and over until it loses meaning and you’re left with this sound in your mouth that you can’t really understand. I mean, here are these people, that I’ve met at different points in my life and in different ways and even though I didn’t really know them, there was something about them I found attractive. I don’t mean attractive in a physical sense – although I have remarkably beautiful friends – but in the sense that there was something in their personalities that drew me in and made me want to spend more time with them. Some of my closest friends come from my school days and I can’t even remember how I became friends with them. It just feels like they were always there. With certain people, I can remember in a narrative sense how we know each other – the connections that led to our friendship forming. But I can’t remember how those friendships formed; that moment when the person went from being someone of whose existence I was aware to someone who’s existence matters to me on such an emotional level it’s almost scary.
Most of my closest friends have been my friends for the best part of a decade. And then there’s Keira, who came out of nowhere.
The first time I met Keira, in the autumn of 2008, she started mocking my check shirt and decided somehow that I was actually a Canadian man named Kyle. I decided to play along because really, I didn’t know what else to do. We met more often, at various social events and I found her really easy to talk to. Neither of us drank and so we’d sit in the corner and chat while everyone else got drunk. Now, I had a different blog back then and some time in October, I posted a video of myself and my friend Cian singing in squeaky helium voices. A few nights later, I got a facebook message from Keira. It went like this:
Hey Kyle! I mean Eoghan,
I am sitting here in stitches and I mean unconsolable stitches. I can hardly see the screen. I have an addiction to blogs and I have been a reader of a blog since June, which I found while googling the Spencer Tunick installation at Blarney. Since I took part in the Spencer Tunick thing, I wanted to read other people’s thoughts on it. I saved my favourite one, JUST one, into my bookmarks. Tonight I was doing my weekly read of blogs, only to find a video of you and Cian on YOUR blog, the blog I had saved to my bookmarks over 5 months ago. So, in some strange way it was like I did already kinda know you! It freaked me out but it made me laugh, so just wanted you to know that without even knowing it was you, I was a fan! Strange old world isn’t it?
At the time, I was a little weirded out. I was in post-break up mode after my girlfriend of almost three years had left to study in Edinburgh so there were some angsty, lovelorn posts on that blog and it felt strange knowing this person I barely knew had read them. As it happens, the fact that she’d read those blogs – and the blogs I kept writing afterwards – made us close friends, very quickly. She’d drop me home after nights out and we’d sit in her car for maybe hours talking and she’d slowly pull things out of me that I hadn’t told anyone else. Keira is very good at that. And after a while I was able to do the same, although nowhere near as well as she does it. And then we’d talk online most nights; a bond growing through chat windows and (in Keira’s case) bad spelling. Most of my other friends were somewhat bewildered at where this (very, very) talkative girl had come from and how she’d managed to worm her way into my inner circle. The thing is, I can’t even explain it. Somewhere amongst the chatting about boys and girls and heartbreaks, she went from being this strange, chatty girl to one of my very closest friends but I couldn’t tell you when that was. Friends – one minute they’re not and the next minute, they are. That’s just how it seems to work. It’s probably best not to question it.
But blogging remains an important part of the friendship between Keira and me. She’s the only one I know who always, always reads it. She nags me unceasingly to update it. I asked her to make this A-Z list for me, thinking I’d write one each day and destroy the writing block in my head. It didn’t quite work that way, but she picks at me nonetheless to keep going. So I don’t mind writing this one about her, if only to get her off my back for another few days.