A squeal of delight and a furious bundle of energy barrelling towards me. A heartfelt hug that goes on for ages, long enough that I drop the usual act of being cool and detached and just accept it.
A quick introduction over the shoulder while still in the hug. My other friend asks how we know each other. A smile tugs at my lips, with so much feeling, so much history, before I just say, “oh, you know, everywhere.”
One of the first friends I made when I got to Perth, and I stick around for an extra couple of drinks once my second leaves, breaking the daily budget, keeping myself occupied with other stuff, while briefly chatting at intervals. Not wanting to distract them too much while they work.
Last person standing at the place as they close up. Not a surprise. As I walk home, I realise it’s my longest friendship in the west, the others that were made before or at the same time burnt away or blocked in so much complicated awkward history.
I only catch up with them once every six to nine months, and don’t feel I’m a good enough friend from their perspective.
I promise myself I’ll be better.
I probably won’t be.