You know when you are aware that you are… becoming detached from your life. People who, only a year ago, you saw bi-weekly you now see bi-annually. Girlfriends who you used to call to say, “You won’t BELIEVE what just happened” you now bump into at random. And it’s loving but very faintly awkward because, although they understand that you have a new job/baby/something, they can’t hide a hint of forlornness. And then one of them – a brave one – spits it out: “I just don’t have access to you!” she says. And you reply, without stopping to think because who has time to stop or to think, “I don’t have access to me either.”
This splits the crowd – half your friends think that you should pull yourself together so you don’t lose them, lose your place, lose your self. They think it isn’t good enough to disappear. And the other half have faith; that you will re-emerge, reconnect, rewire yourself back towards your ever-shifting centre.
In the rush hour of life, it can feel as though even the dishwasher – with its requests for salt – has more access to you than your friends, family and lovers. Only work and low-hanging fruit get to see the whites of your eyes because you are spread so thin. You are fine – just – but there’s not much to play with. You try to hang on to your bat squeak of self but it’s touch and go.
Normal service will resume. Full VIP access will be restored either when all goals have been achieved and all demands met. But – more likely – when you’ve had enough and you pick up the phone and just say one, very moving and resonant word: “Pub?”