Everybody apparently needs at least one friend.
I've lived my entire life without that belief. I've been a man unto myself as long as I can remember.
Sure, I had friends as a kid. All kids have friends that you hang around with, do stupid shit with. I had those friends. I also had those friends throughout my high school years. But, none of them were close friends. None were those life-long, close to the heart friends that you see in the movies. You know, the friends like Billy Crystal has in 'City Slickers' or the group of friends that you see on TV a la 'Friends' or the 'Big Chill' or more recently, 'Grown Ups'.
That shit doesn't happen. it isn't real. Sure, it'd be nice. It'd be funny and it'd be ideal. But it just doesn't happen. The friends I had as a kid grew up and moved on, as did I. We didn't reunite and relive our 5th grade youth. God forbid.
No, as a matter of fact, I have avoided close friendships throughout my life. With the weird exception of marriage.
This has served me well for the majority of my life. I have never been one of those guys who gathered around the barbeque grill and talked about the workweek or met at the bar and talked sports.
I have never had a close friend that I've carried throughout my life.
Sure, I do have friends that I consider close. Friends that that know me better than anyone else. But, there is no one, repeat, no one, that knows me intimately. Not even my first wife, who was married to me for almost twenty years, knew me intimately. And, by intimately, I mean as a close, personal friend.
There is only one person now that I've allowed to get inside that perimeter. And, I'm cautious about allowing her to get too far inside. It's not because I have anything to hide, it's because I'm wary that she'll be like a small deer approaching fauna and suddenly see a chupacabra poke its' head up and scare her away.
Friends are never there when I need them. Whether it's because it's too late or I'm a nuisance. So, I just don't need them as much as they don't need me. There are exceptions, however. Thank you, Karre, Elisabeth, Paul, Debbie. Just to name a few. There are those that listen. Those that listen are friends. Sometimes that's all that's needed. I don't need feedback all of the time.
Friends, near and far, are more important than I thought possible. I'm a burden to most, annoying to many and disappointing to those who used to love me. But maybe, just maybe, I have a friend out there who I can help in some way.
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