I haven’t been a good friend, at least I don’t feel that I have been lately. Friendships are squirmy complicated organisms, they’re like babies, when you have them fed, washed and properly put in their cots for rest, they suddenly seem to be possessed by the ghost of Michael Jackson (smooth criminal mike, not thriller mike.) and are dancing all over the place and then a Broadway show of anxiety and confusion ensues. Honestly, it’s unlikely that even super moms who can handle dancing MJ babies with ease can apply the same ease to their friendships.
Again, of course, we must summarily throw context out of the window, we haven’t cared much for it here anyway, what we want are answers, answers to the important questions such as, where does the line exist? You know, Aristotle’s golden mean, but for friendship, what divides genuine care from smothering value imposition? What divides looking out for a friend and being controlling? What even defines a friend?
It boggles the mind, that of all the human rights we’ve managed to cook up, (calm down, I didn’t say they’re fake, just that cavemen didn’t have them, cause they couldn’t cook.) there does not exist a right to love and friendship. Imagine if there was a Vienna convention on the law of friendship, imagine how life would be so much easier! The would-be no confusion on obligations, friendships would be well defined, and ( If we get a hippie to draft it, cause who else would you get to draft a treaty on friendship?) we might actually take a step forward towards world peace.
Friendships, (like fruit) go bad if you store them in damp shady places and give them little care and sunshine. Frustrations tend to accumulate when we feel disregarded, then frustrations lead to resentment, and BOOM, the friendship has turned into a scene from the expendables movies. The narcissistic ideal of cutting people off at the slightest disagreement is rendering the skill of making and maintaining friendships fast obsolete. Then again, I have and probably will continue to allow friendships to disintegrate when I just CAN’T DEAL. Does that make me a bad person? Probably only saint peter will tell me when I have my last interview at the pearly gates.
I like to think that friendships, like all other interactions between humans, retain that characteristic element of selfishness always begging for satisfaction. Mutual reciprocity, a continuous back and forth of care, good vibes, smiles and all other sorts of nice things are what keep friendships alive. If a “friend “actively decides not to reciprocate then what is the value of keeping the friendship alive? A mercy killing is appropriate in this situation I always think. It’s very heavy on cynicism I know, but it’s only 3 months into 2022 and even the sun doesn’t seem to smile the same as it used to back when Teletubbies was a thing. Maybe it’s the end of the world looming, but I can’t shake the nagging urge to just disappear somewhere with a dog, you know, “I am Legend” style. Either way, I suppose I remain the bad friend until I have this all figured out, or a hippie writes a treaty.