So a close friend looked deeply into my eyes (hers blue into mine hazel) and asked:
“Do you view all your friendships romantically?”
If we hadn’t been laying back on the grass, too comfortable to move, I would’ve had to walk around in a circle to think about that. Instead I turned it over a few times. Being the kind of friend that knows you sometimes have to rephrase the question so that it’ll fall into the hole you’re aiming for, she put it another way:
“Are all your friendships really, at the heart of it, love affairs?”
And there it went, like a ring, twirling round and round as it scooted down. Into the heart of it.
Of course they are. Of course I treat my friendships as grand passions. The surprise of the question was that it made me realise there’s a world in which there are other ways of wearing it. There are lighter friendships, ones made of utilitarian fabrics. The ones that are there to stave off rain; the ones that are there to let air in. There are the flimsy, flashy ones that you can wear out at night, but will never keep you warm. There are the thick ones that will always keep you warm but stifle your inner beast. There are the leather ones you wear to belong to the group, but sometimes bother you with their herdlike smell. There are many, many, many. I admire those who can survive the variety of them. But the question – so astute! – made me realise I’m not one of them. I make it hard for you. So I’ll start this thing off with a word of thanks. If you’ve found yourself here, it’s probably because you’re in my treasured constellation. You’re one of the beloved. Or you’ve found your way here by chance, by invitation, by coincidence. Surviving my love is no mean feat. It’s demanding, intense, unrelenting, unswerving, brutal. True friends stab you in the front. This is your invitation to stay for the ride.
All my love