I have a friend. The curious thing is I have no idea who she is. I’ve never seen her, or spoken to her, or heard her voice. I think I know her name — Babette — but I’m not sure. You see, we don’t live in the same country. We don’t even speak the same language. Although, she must speak English — I don’t have any Dutch (maybe it’s Dutch? Google Translator thinks it’s Dutch?) But in actual fact, I have no facts about my friend whatsoever, except I’m pretty sure she lives on Crete. The truth is, I only know her because she found me typing away in the digital world and said she liked me. By chance, I clicked back and discovered I liked her too. She’s curious. She sees things many people miss. She has questions. Sometimes she has answers. Yes, sometimes she has an attitude also but she feels life — large and small — and recognizes it for what it is. And she’s smart and interesting.
So, why, out of the thousands of computer connections I make every day, do I know she’s my friend? That’s even more curious.
After several weeks of reading and electronically liking each other, she left — disappeared — and unlike all the other random Internet comings and goings, I wondered what happened. I missed her. I went looking. I stood on the edge of the vast cyber wilderness and called her name. The sound was hollow. She wasn’t there. And I felt the loss.
A couple of days ago, my friend showed up again and said she still liked me and explained to her virtual world where she’d been in the real one. I was glad she was back. I was excited to see her — happy that my friend had returned.
People seek each other out (we always have.) It satisfies a need in our psyche and our soul. These days, the threads that connect us might be as thin as the click of a wireless mouse on a midnight screen half a world away. But that bond is real.
I don’t know anything about my friend — except I know what she feels.
So, Babette, eat your vegetables, drink some wine, get plenty of sleep, hug the people you love and keep them close. And if sometime, in the cold, dark soul of 4 o’clock in the morning, you think you’re alone in this world — you’re not — because you are my friend.