The last few days; I’ve wanted all my friends to be around me. Talking with me. I didn’t reach out to all of them. If I had, I know, they would be talking with me. And I didn’t reach out to all of them, because I know them. Well.
My friends are smart. Given that I am smart, it’s no surprise that I have made friends with smart people. I don’t ask a question, but they hear the question. And to that unasked question, they don’t give an answer, but I hear the answer.
I may have said this before in this blog, but I don’t want to search for it now. Long ago, (and what seems like) very long long ago, in the wee hours of the morning, no access to tobacco or alcohol, twenty-five years ago, while sharing a makeshift cigarette, we — friends — were having a conversation. It was the end of college and we were soon to be dropped, without safety nets, in the real world. The conversation dropped for a couple of minutes. Then, one friend said, “It’s about respect.”
We knew we would move out in search for employment. Mobile phones were non-existent at the time. A 40 MB HDD (MB, not GB – just to let you know, it’s not a typo) meant we could store the world in that disk. Internet access was costly. I was still writing letters to a potential girlfriend using pen, paper, and postage. Long distance calls were cheap, after 11pm. And we used to throng public phone booths for that.
We all slowly looked at him. A big question mark etched on our faces.
“I’ll never remain friends with any of you, if I don’t respect you,” he said. “We will all leave this place (he meant, the college) with memories or respect. Eventually, the memories will fade. Respect will never fade, even if we never ever speak with each other. That’s how we will know, we are friends.”
Our friends don’t expect us to behave the way they want us to behave. They know how we behave, and continue to be friends. Take me, as an example. I am never straightforward. I start with an abstract of what I feel or think. I tend to prolong a conversation. A few of my friends come straight to the point. Which often leaves me dumfounded. Eventually, I gather my senses and respond.
I found out today, that today was friendship day. Like any other day — I’ve never felt the need to celebrate it. For, all my interactions with my friends have been a celebration.
My bestest friend died 14 years ago. There’s little conversation now. There’s just one glass on the bar. I stopped bumming cigarettes after he died; started buying my own. Nothing has changed, however. He is still my bestest friend.
BFF, yo! Between you and me, Forever means an entirely different thing.