He is not a friend from my youth, my bike shop, or a neighbor in my hood. He is a persona who claims to live in Ukraine and is from Canada originally. He also claims to be an expert on all things bovine related. He’s one of the guys who wrote the book so to speak.
Allen is his supposed real name. After a decade of swapping thoughts, ideas and laughs with him, I believe he is real. But more than that, I do not care if he is or isn’t. He and I have formed a connection that transcends physical verification. We have become friends and from my point of view, the best of friends.
So Blog Fodder posted a piece on his blog about the notion of who is a friend and how do we categorize them. Good friends? Best friends? Fair weather friends? And where do we separate friends from the massive numbers of assholes we have dealt with over the years.
The notion of friendship can become an evil pit of never ending frustration as I try to find convenient cubby holes for the many friends I have had over the last 69 years.
There are my first friends. My playground best buds. My pinky swear allegiance friends for life. My drug friends. My college friends. There have been so many friends float in and out of my life, I sit here in a daze trying to put the ones who manage to float to the top in perspective.
What about the friends I always got in trouble with? The friends who always helped me avoid trouble? This whole notion of breaking down friends and friendships Is overwhelming……….. (Take a breath Mike……. Settle down asshole, and break it down so it makes sense in that void you charitably call your mind).
The first thing I guess I know about friendship is that it is a fluid thing. A good friendship has many challenges that stresses the commitment and still ends up a solid relationship. The fluid part is the constant weeding process of friendships that do not stand up to those stresses. We have friends for life, but at the same time have many different “best friends” who share our trip from the cradle to the grave either briefly or are there for the duration.
I would call the friends who have hung in for life as my true best friends. Of those, I have few left it seems. Now as an old fart, many friends that I thought gone and forgotten have found me again and we picked up right where we left off. So for me, at the top of the “Best Friend” list is one who can stand the test of time. The next friend in the “Best” category is one who had a major impact on my life at and during a certain period of my life.
But because I ultimately want to bake things down to simple notions my mind can actually comfortably handle;
A good friend is someone I think of and smile at the same time.
A bad friend does not exist. Bad friends are just the assholes we have to sort out while we plod our way to the horizon.
Keep it ‘tween the ditches ……………………………………..
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