Lately, I’ve been hearing too much talk about failed or fading friendships. How best to break up with friends who you’ve outgrown; the logic of backing off vs. cutting off; how to handle a deep-seated personality or values conflict that becomes more apparent over time. Last weekend’s New York Times ran an entire article about the pandemic.
There’s never this degree of detailed dialogue about the flourishing friendships. By the time most people get to be my age, they realize who their real, til-death-do-you-part friends are. The ones who you don’t have to overly censor your words around, and who always remember your birthday, and who do whatever it takes to be present for your milestones, and who you know you can call when you’re in the throes of a good-old-fashioned, middle-of-the-night emotional breakdown.
I’m still flying high from a phone call I had with one of my flourishers earlier this week. Whenever I talk to him it’s like a little gift, even when I don’t agree with anything he’s saying. He’s one of those figures who’s so dynamically fascinating that almost everyone you meet afterwards feels like a letdown. The New York Times should run an article about him. He’s one of only four people I’ve ever known who’s consistently able to make me fall out of my chair laughing, in tears (to the point where I can’t see straight), back-of-mind hoping that I don’t hyperventilate to death, while understanding that, if I do, this would be the finest way to go.
When I texted him on his birthday a few days ago, I wrote: “I’ll call you back in about 10 minutes.” He wrote: “I got punched in the face this a.m.” That was just the beginning of another beautiful catch-up.
Farewell to an Era
1 day ago