NPM22 Blog: Close Friends by David Delisca

Close Friends.

Ok. Whatever. Aight.

The close friends feature on Da ‘Gram (Instagram) oftenly trips me out (or in). Bambi legs with sneakers, shuffling in its stance.

I’m laced with my understanding of closeness that feels familiar, you know me cuz I know you. Makes it easier to share what I hold precious and as well, a wider landing strip to receive what is cherished. Time is an innocuous gift that closeness is deserving of, precious time.

Yet, sharing time with folks ain’t always innocuous, it can be draining. Time finds value when it’s part of a collaboration but often it takes a lot. I rather thirst-quenched enjoy it when it’s mutually beneficial and replenishing. Kinda safe for all parties.

But what ‘close friends’ deserve my time like that?

On stages, pages or whatnots. When I’m asked to perform in some kind of way… there’s a bond to the crowds, audiences, readers and listeners – I do feel connected.

Trustingly connected enough to share isolated parts of myself. Enough to bestow time to reveal the accessible inner workings of feeling and perspective that I am comfortable sharing with anybody – absolutely anybody.

There’s a bond indeed, but I don’t feel that highly-accelerated gravity close. Moreso, adjacently placed within each other’s hubris so I don’t overshare artistically. Badu said “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit”, my understated biography tattooed stamped all over me, glowingly revealed under the blue light.

I’m human and I’m sensitive about my shit. Realms of my personality kept portals away but in reach of those who understood how to get there, wherever “there” is at. My close friends transcend through my many intersections of identity and character. A passport to a trusting state.

I have so much self, that I can’t keep just to myself. That’s why we have social media.

I’m human and I’m sensitive about my shit. Mindful of what I share, I do appreciate the close friends feature, the ability to curate where parts of you may land patiently. But it’s hard to see past that title because how the hell can I validate a close friend?

At the onset of Season 1 of The Pandemic, while folks were navigating lockdown and bubbles, I did learn that sometimes you have family that you haven’t met yet.

I made a little call out to my close friends about a weekly poetry session over zoom. I didn’t know what to expect and who would apply. All I had was my goal of holding space that allowed folks to enjoy sharing, reading and learning about poetry within us and around us. A place of relaxed expectations. Several decided to join and what I thought would last a few weeks has now been going on for over a hundred weeks.

We called the sessions “WWW” for Wine (Something) Wednesday. We met at Raphael Delaghetto’s Poetry Corner which was either the same zoom or my home. Over the weeks, we explored different styles of poetry from contemporary, urban or classical approaches, we shared insights informed by our life experiences that made us dive deeper into fun, goofy and intelligent conversations. We played scattergories, had drinking games, debated over fast food restaurant legacies, freestyled raps and poems over instrumentals and conferences about many possible and impossible business ideas.

We were brave, reached within ourselves to bring out the depths of our personalities as well, reached into our humility to explore our writing styles and tendencies. Sharing our personal insecurities and creative insecurities. It was the first time that I was amongst collective empathy.

We are writers, actors, singers, musicians, lawyers, community leaders and so much more, who knew that close friends could actually become close friends.

They are teaching so much about intimacy, through the patience we have for each other, through the attention we give each other to enable inside jokes. The trust in it all, secured by tenderness.

I have become a better poet and person because of them because of the intimate times where midnight is creeping up and collectivism pushes across the new day.

Time is truly a gift that my close friends have provided each other, allowing us to learn more about who we are in such a patient way.

I don’t need to be everything for everybody but I feel like I can be anybody with them, ain’t that intimate?

Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida residing in Scarborough, David Delisca is a writer, poet, actor and humorist. A versatile artist, he uses stories about the immigrant and diasporic experience, as well as other various human realities, to bridge realms of communication. His works and performances have been featured in the Toronto Star, CBC & Netflix.