Monday, July 29, 2013

Discouragements in Hanging Out: Pushing

Your friend is going through a hard time.  There are perhaps some life updates that you are really eager to know.  You want the dish, you want the scoop.  Or you want to put in your two scents, your advice,  your what have you.  There is space for input from friends, it is undoubtedly valuable.  However, sometimes people just want to hang out.  They made this time for you in their life to do something together and perhaps they don't want to discuss in detail what is wrong in their lives but rather take  a break from it (with you).  So a simple "How are you?" suffices and if you are really concerned you can follow up with a simple "How are things going with ______?".  But don't push it and don't force it, causing unneeded strain on their already perhaps taxed heart and mind.  They know you are for them and will open up when they desire to.

I am reluctant to think of hanging out as some sort of break from the norm, a special treat.  Philosophically I feel every single moment of your life is important, your entire life a series of special hangs.  However, some moments that should be held with some reverence-moments meant as much needed breaks and moments of relaxation from what ails us. Be sure to create them for yourself and your co-humans.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

People to Hang Out With: PIC

Bathroom graffiti at Red Lantern Bicycles in Brooklyn, NY.

Always down for whatever, never any need to navigate conversations, PIC is the person you can silently chill with, the person you can be a dork with, the person you can climb a roof top with and who is generally down for whatever.  Partner in Crime (PIC) is the individual who has come out forefront in your life as the creme de la creme of hang out buddies.  PIC's are not the average social associate.  I developed this moniker with a boyfriend from my early twenties - while it may have been cheating cos we were actually partners not just partners in crime but in all fairness we were partners in crime in that we actually committed crimes together.  Petty but crimes nonetheless.

You know how you have the friends you go to brunch with?  The friends you meet in the afternoon for coffee with?  Or the friends you talk about your "career" with?  This is not that friend.  This friend is who you get wasted with at noon.  Who suggests that you hop a fence that goes down an obscure looking path.  Who you lie around with in your underwear.  You take naps together. You cook together.  You plan obscure adventures together. They are who you hang out with when you absolutely won't hang out with anyone else.  You don't talk about bullshit with one another and you share cigarettes seamlessly and without interruption.  I like to think the PIC has access to your darkest and surliest and your brightest and cuddliest.  You rove together on this earth like you have been doing it for a hundred years.  You know exactly who this friend is to you, now go write them a love letter.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

One is Silver and The Other's Gold

When I was a kid one of the first songs I was thrilled with when I became capable of remembering all the lyrics to went like so:

          Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold.  

It's nearly four in the morn and I am pleasantly drunk, sitting in a cozy living room listening to records with friends.  I am not sure how the discussion led to this point but I say out loud, "Ya know I use to have a no new friend policy, I thought I was at my limit.  And now I think I've changed my mind."

C and A (golds) nod and then C says, "Because you were here to hang out with your old friends and you ended up hanging out with all new friends while you were here".  He smiles wise and takes a sip of his beer and I smile back as C's gentle wisdom has been really comforting to me this past week as he has hosted me up here in the hills of Chattanooga.  And he was right.  I was making new friends with old acquaintances, getting to know them better.  Expanding my human conceptual framework with the input of other's philosophies and perspectives on and in this world.  And with my return to New York City after a brief winter time Southern sojourn, the trend has continued for the most part.  Placing myself in situations interacting with people I would not had normally and in turn creating new connections and relationships for myself here in this city.  The advice here is not "get out there!" because fuck that, "stay in here!" if you wish.  But rather know that nothing is definitive and remember that this life is fluid.  That new life can be breathed into anything, even what you once thought you had tired of or was dead.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

People To Hang Out With: The Broken Hearted aka BAD MOON

"For even as love crowns you 
so shall he crucify you.  Even as he is for your growth 
so is he for your pruning 
Even as he ascends to your height and 
caresses your tenderest branches that quiver 
in the sun, 
So shall he descend to your roots and 
shake them in their clinging to the earth."

-Kahlil Gibran

My friend with an aching heart says there is a bad moon when I comment there seems to have been a sea of broken hearts around lately.  C says "It seems unfair to blame the moon for such unhappiness".
I agree with her but who knows how we are truly affected by this globe we sit on and all the other other powerful bodies swirling around it.  At the end of the day it is kind of fun to go around saying bad moon and I am preferring it to saying "well Mercury's in retrograde", womp womp.  Traveling these days visiting friends, there seems to be a large amount of heavy souls and broken hearts in various forms from romantic to friendship to internal strife.  But alas this blog is about hanging out and not about your soul (or IS it?) , so let's move on shall we.

Indeed we've all been there, in this need to re-evaluate a situation a million times over to our friends or just to plain sulk for hours on end in plain view.  It's okay, it's part of the process.  But what to do with these poor love sick saps?  They need your hanging out skills more than ever!  You can't rush someone along to feel better, sometimes folks need a moment to stare at the ceiling.  Yet at the same time there is something nice about a friend saying, "Out of bed! Snap out of it dumbass, we've got plans!"  Do your best to find the balance between the two, providing a mix of low key (movie in bed) and high key (roller skating rink) activities.  And not enough can be said about the benefits to the heart of just being in nature, in the warm sun if you got it and at minimum some fresh air and cosmic zounds.  To ride with the broken hearted one must be willing to have an extended ear if they're a talker or the lovely ability of pretending that you can't feel the sadness emanating from them if they're not.  In the end, you just being around at all is so helpful in itself and surely  you will receive the same reciprocated assistance in the future.

"I've never had my heart broken but there's so many songs about it that I know that shit is real"- E

I am going to suggest a little beer and cigarettes for these hang outs.  Not for the friend with the broken heart because goodness knows their brains are not operating clearly enough as is but for yourself.  Hard feelings is a lot to take in some times so might as well sedate yourself a little so you can appear as if you are calmly listening.  And to you broken hearted,  if you know you are going to hang out to discuss such things for an extended period of time perhaps you should be the one bringing the bottle of wine.  Chin up everyone, tomorrow is another day and there will be a next time.

"Waterfall of love each time
 I fall in love I lose my mind 
Tear off all my clothes, get a bloody nose 
and jump out the window"
-Big Kitty, Waterfall of Love

Personal Note: If you feel I owe you a bottle of wine please let me know asap as I like to settle my debts.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February: Hanging Out in Florida