Olivia

I think it’s important to write about things that you love. This is a piece about someone I love and it is horrendously overdue, years and years overdue.
And so here it is, Olivia.
Some writing about you.

 

Olivia is one of my oldest friends.

 

She is, in the nicest way possible, my trophy wife. I am the short, round, balding, golf-playing husband to Olivia’s much younger, taller, former beauty pageant queen wife. She is the best person to bring to a party: she floats into a room, intimidatingly attractive and impeccably dressed and settles effortlessly into any new and unchartered social circle. She asks questions and joins in and laughs loudly at jokes. She makes people feel comfortable. She makes me comfortable: my home is where she is.

She has the shiniest brown hair you will ever see and walks everywhere to avoid paying for transport. She likes cheap wine and good food and hasn’t put on a pound since the day I met her. She is a sister to four and a brilliant, loyal and trusted friend to many more. She always arrives early and has one slightly crooked tooth which no one notices but she hates and I love. I remember the first time I saw her cry and it was high-pitched and horrible.

She works like a Trojan, she always has. She likes new clothes. She hates PDA. She runs. She dances brilliantly and enthusiastically despite a limb to torso ratio that isn’t conducive to doing so very well. She wears cherry coloured Doc Martens. She says things in funny voices. She is such a talented artist. She is hot tempered but forgives completely, quickly and easily.

She is fiercely loyal and, in equal measure, impressively impatient with those who are not. She holds nothing of higher importance than spending time with people she loves. She does no harm but takes no shit. She is an ardent feminist. For this, and many other reasons, I am so proud to call her my friend.

She is friendly and fun, but she does not share her feelings with everyone. To some, I feel like Olivia is a closed book, but to me she is the delightful long loan hidden in the corner of a library that I continue to read and learn from and laugh at and go back to time and time again. There is something very special about knowing someone trusts you. When she tells you she loves you it’s like finding a ten pound note in an old coat pocket: it doesn’t happen often, you know it should be enjoyed and savoured, but not to be expected.

We are firm friends. We can count on each other. We find each other funny. I once bought her a hotdog, a copy of Cosmo and a bottle of Oasis as a Christmas present. She met me at arrivals when I flew home from Brazil. We have grown up together. We differ in opinion on many things: she rolls her eyes each time I talk about marrying young and I consider taking out life insuranceanytime she brings up her next idea for an adventure. We support each other. We respect each other. We will talk into the night yet sit in comfortable, warm silence together on buses and trains. We babble about make-up and money. We do not like to talk too much about work.

What she sometimes lacks financially due to a burdensome NARS Cosmetics addiction and an irresistible pull to the shiny lights of Space NK, she makes up for in a wealth of experience. She is so rich in this respect: she lived in the same house for all of her childhood but is the most well-travelled person I know. One day I hope she will be the outlandish adopted auntie to my band of offspring who will tell them about temples in Thailand and proper sushi in Japan and train journeys across India. I know they will marvel at her as much as I do now, and for them, as for me, it will be a pleasure to hear her stories, to make her laugh and simply to be hers.