I've always been picky when it came to the people I call friends. I've pissed of plenty of unsuspecting 'friends' over the years because of my stubborn refusal to call them my friends. The few times I did manage to call them my friends I'd always correct myself immediately. I'd immediately say, 'as in, yeah, I know the guy; we've hung out a few times'. Of course, if the conversation ends there, it's usually best for all parties involved. But occasionally there's the nosy 'so you're friends' following my correction. At which point I would never really have a choice but to tell them what I think. What do I think? I think the word friend is thrown around quite loosely. I do. There are people I've known for years, who I wouldn't be able to call friends. Now I don't know, maybe it's just me, my inherent unwillingness to participate in the social masquerade, but I can't, for the life of me, feel comfortable in a group of more than, oh I don't know, 8. Even a group of 8, its probably 5 friends with 3 other buggers that always just happened to be around when the pictures were taken. I guess nobody really think its worth the effort, the standards, if that's what they are. Truth is, if anyone were to stick to this approach, they'd soon see that they don't really have a lot of friends. The loose usage of the term, despite its superficialities, at least ensured a numerically successful social life. But when you really think about it, how many friends do you have, really?
The definition that comes to closest to my perception of a friend is 'comrade in arms'. Come to think of it, I couldn't have put it better myself. Life's a bitch, and I suppose people that I call a friend are those that fight beside me, through every aspect, the guts, the grit, the glory. They're the ones that have witnessed the worst mistakes of my life, and saved me from the brink of many more. And if you're thinking 'well that doesn't really give the people I know now much of a chance', then you clearly don't know me, I re invent the range of possibilities defined by the phrase 'worst mistake' every other year. So there are plenty of opportunities for pretty much anyone to witness the worst mistake of my life (yet), it's the next bit that filters out the friends from the rest.
The reason I'm blowing all this steam on this guy's blog is because when he asked me to write a guest entry for the blog, the first thing that came to mind were his friends. And while I know that the blog would still be worth reading over again when you're fifty, I think it goes without saying that it wouldn't be as worthy without the lines in between that contain oblique , among other, references to your comrade in arms. Obviously, while the loose usage of the word may creep in every now and then, I think I'm not wrong in saying that he knows who his friends are, at the end of the day. The good, the reliable, the few.
Guest post by Vishnu. You can read more of his shit @ http://chronic-delirium.blogspot.com/