Depending on my mood, I either love or loathe my friends. Nothing really ever in between. This ill-natured attitude as you can imagine has a very real ebb and flow effect on my core existence. I hate some friends right now. I like them overall, but quite honestly most of them were the first in their families to be born without tail.
I don’t know if this is atypical or not, but quite honestly I lose friends on a regular basis. I mean, not weekly, but monthly at least. And at my age, they are semi-tough to replace. And that’s another piddling thing. Do I want to replace them? My twink days of capturing folk with captivating conversation led into by a firm ass and a hearty handshake are long gone. That package was my lead that got the whole thing started.
Now I’ll sit fading into a watering hole and go unnoticed and then sadly uncontrolled. Do you ever get to the point that you strike up a conversation with someone and you know you’ll regret it? They invariably become a coyote f*ck. You know when you wake the next morning and chew off your own arm to get out of bed rather than wake the troll? In the old days that just led to great brunch stories. The pub crawl method of trolling for friends is today just frankly out of my playbook.
Facebook purports friendship and indeed has let me reconnect with old pals, but I mean really are they friends today? More like old soldiers jacking the truth of our collective past. Harmless and fun, but it’s not really friendship.
Like all of us I have those old friends who I can call anytime and just be back in the moment, but hell, if I liked ‘em that much I would likely see them rather than just use them in down times. None of my exes are really friends. I mean, one sent me a boatload of money when he sold a business we started, and while kind, it wasn’t an act of friendship. And just the other night one e-mailed me an answer to a biz question from Cape Town the night before he began a safari. Exotic, yes. Sweet even. But he doesn’t consider me a friend. Three of my exes are dead, so I can’t expect to hold them to anything.
And all those other folks and all those memories and pictures and laughs and giggles and then one day they are gone. Not all at once. But in a trickle. There are a bevy of cronies I would hang with three times a week, and they still live three miles away. And I see them at the holidays and we still feel warm but for whatever reason, the flaming fire of friendship was just, over time, peed on. Maybe we all just ran out of stories. Maybe we all are looking for younger models.
I bet you those friends from the TV show Friends wouldn’t be friends today if they were really ever friends in the first place instead of sitcom characters.
One of the dear friends that I have yet to chase off looked at me the other day and said, “I don’t have any friends, either.” Comforting on the surface, but we weren’t even talking about friendship. How sad is that! I’m so translucent; I’m the damn emperor without clothes!
Even in music we pretend to dig “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Thank You for Being a Friend,” “That’s What Friends Are For” or groove out to “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Truth is, a ton of us would rather wallow with “Tears in Heaven,” “Everybody Hurts,” “Alone Again (Naturally),” “Dust in the Wind” or “Misery.” Aside from this macabre pronouncement, you have to admit the lack of friends over the years has created much better tunes.
I also know all about man’s best friend. I have Hank and Pearl. Not a lot of chat going on but we drink together. Me out of a glass, the kids out of the toilet. The truth is, outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
I guess I’m too young not to have real friends about and perhaps too old to discover new olds. I best hang on to the lot I have. Good friends are cheaper than therapy, and I don’t need more than three therapists at any one time.
I am certain we all need friends. I still have a few. Seems like a great time to take a moment and evaluate both them and me. I’m a nonbeliever and an overachiever. To my dear, sweet friends; today I’ll try and be a better friend. But remember, “I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.”
To those less cynical, always remember this famous quote: “A friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.” And with that, I gotta go!