There we were, the eight of us, in the hot tub. The sun had set. We had been eating and drinking, swimming and laughing, for more than four hours. A couple of people I knew for years and others I had met recently. One I just met earlier that evening.
I spent over a year, between classes and study time, to prepare for the CFP exam. During that time, some people were intentionally pushed aside because I didn’t have time to be social. Of those I did see, some understood how precious my free time was, while others expected more from me than I had to give. Some relationships – most even – made it through that tough time, but not every one.
People come and people go from our lives. Sometimes we get warning, sometimes we don’t. The worst ones are when we don’t recognize the warning signs until after it’s over. Regardless of the past, we need to appreciate the friends we have, here and now.
Friday night, I drove an hour to see a friend for his birthday. We played Rock Band and his girlfriend introduced me to some new music. Saturday was the hot tub and skinny dipping. At one point, the host and I relaxed in the tub while others sought drinks or a dip in the pool. He wanted to know why I wrote gay male erotica, and then he quizzed me on my vampires, compared to so many others from Rice to Twilight.
Between that conversation and the earlier banter with more bodies than seats in the tub, The Muse got all a’flutter with ideas. She doesn’t understand why some things are taboo – like gay romance, or kissing a girl, or naked hot-tubbing with friends. The Muse wanted to write about taboos, but then she spotted the bag of leftover Rolo’s and I haven’t seen her since. Perhaps another day. She seemed very interested after all.
I adore my friends. I’m sorry if one or two might have not felt that from me in the last couple of months before my exam. I’m very happy that the rest understood and stood by me. Not only that, but I’ve made new ones now that I have time to stop and smile and laugh. I don’t write as often as I did when I was studying, but I’m not complaining.