Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 224
Every Friday night for a few weeks now, we've had rather lengthy video calls with Anak Nico, typically after our extended Baduy Pride episodes. This sort of began organically because we had been drinking during one of the episodes and Nico asked to "join" us to continue drinking and talking through the night. And then it just kept happening and has started to become part of our Friday night routines. And these calls tend to run all the way until 4 or 5 in the morning.
As much as Nico has pretty much always been family to us, I'll concede that the exact definition of what that means in terms of our friendship was probably different 10 years ago versus what it has become over the course of this lockdown. Just last Friday after our episode about LGBT families, I asked Nico how he defined things and his first response was "this" - in reference to our now weekly conversations. And that resonated with me as something amazingly true. A larger part of what defines our little family unit now involves this sort of online quality time we've started fostering and the continued bonding that results from it.
We've been friends for such a long time, but to be fair a lot of that time was a lot shallower. Don't get me wrong, he has always been important to us throughout the years and the many shared nights at O Bar, but to some degree, we left a lot of things unsaid or unexplored and remained content to just rely on seeing one another at O Bar as one of the primary pillars of that friendship. It's only now during this period of quarantine that we've actually taken the time to really talk about mundane things like our respective jobs and other interests.
To be fair, O Bar is not the most conducive place for conversations of this nature given the music, the crush of the crowds, and of course the fabulous drag shows. There's always so much else going on during a night at O Bar that it can get a little distracting. Now while in lockdown, a lot of those distractions are gone and we're left with who we are as individuals and who we are as friends. And that's not a bad thing itself - it just does provide a greater sense of focus.
I've really come to enjoy these weekly calls even if we don't really have like a clear agenda or focus of discussion. We just keep talking and the minutes become hours and soon the sun is beginning to rise and we're still just talking and we have to consciously tell ourselves that it's time to wrap up because we all have other things we need to think about addressing come the morning.
I hope everyone is finding ways of staying in touch with friends and keeping those bonds of friendship alive. You don't need to be a "family" unit in order to justify this sort of thing. Just make sure to continue to invest time in the people you love and value most in life. They'll appreciate the effort, believe me. We could all do better by our friends.