Jude and I finally found some time alone to talk - he drove me home after our all-day rehearsal. The play is shaping up, by the way - it had better be, as the first real performance is on Thursday. But I digress. As I say, Jude and I found some time to talk. And although the conversation led essentially nowhere - no resolutions were made or understandings reached, et cetera et cetera - it was still incredibly rewarding. Like this might actually lead to something. Like Jude might possibly turn out to be the friend I thought Leigh was. I never would have guessed.
Jude and I met in the seventh grade...which is actually when Leigh and I met, now that I come to think of it. I was friends with him for a while - weeks? a couple of months? seventh-grade time seems different somehow - then we drifted apart a bit and he ended up being friends with Leigh for, I think, a slightly shorter time, then the two of them drifted apart a bit and, by the end of the year, Leigh and I were cemented as friends and Jude was off doing who-knows-what with who-knows-whom.
And that's the way things stayed. When I returned to this community after a two-year absence, I remembered him and he remembered me, but neither of us ever mentioned our brief period of being buddies. We were just classmates, and later castmates, interacting no more with each other than with anyone else.
And then on Sunday, I approached him with the intent of confiding some of the gender issues I've been having. As you know. And he was 'stoned' and our other castmates were milling around, so the conversation went pretty much nowhere. As you know. And today it still went nowhere, but it actually happened, which is something.
The most notable part - okay, the only part cohesive enough to remember at all - of the discussion was how very open we both were with each other. Sure, neither was able to say much, due to not having the words (although somehow we did manage to talk for quite some time), but there were no inhibitions, none at all. With Leigh, with Regi, with my counsellor, with my parents especially, I am constantly watching what I say. Even here, I feel like I need enough substance to fill at least a few paragraphs - they're honest paragraphs, but they do require a bit of composition, I can't just write the beginnings of sentences and leave out all their content. But with Jude it didn't need to make sense. And if I trailed off into silence, as I often did, he would share whatever it was he was thinking - which usually made just as little sense as whatever I was thinking - or ask another question, or...
Anyway, it was just very...very real. Very nice. Like this is the sort of friend I've been needing, even if we didn't accomplish anything. I've kind of forgotten what needed accomplishing, really.
Really, I would never have guessed.