I know a lot of people,but my circle of real friends is fairly small. I chalk that up to my great sense of dedication,my dog like loyalty. The facebook thing is a wonder,as it has linked me back with people that I have lost contact with for years. One case in point is my college friend,Scott Elliott, who I hung with many a night while going to undergrad school. Yes,we went to school at Stanislaus State in Turlock,but we had a great time. Now he is a minister in Florida and we spend probably a night a week chatting. It is nice...really nice.
But I am also loyal to those friends on facebook that I don't know that well. Really it is technology friendship,the speed dating of friendship. Someone knows someone and has heard of you once and suddenly they are friending you. If I ever see those people who have friended me,I am very happy. Most of the time that is unreciprocated. I am loyal to anyone who might even use the term friend to me.
Interesting thing, friendship. I have a couple of avenues of friendship, one is through the theatre. Theatre friendships are usually formed through working on a play together, which can be fiery, collaborative, and bonding to say the least. I still, to this day, remember the night of dress rehearsal when the lights came up on the aforementioned Scott Elliott, laying on the stage after a set piece had flown in and given him a concussion. I see that moment clearly, still. In those long periods of time that we go without contact, I still remember that. It still forges its place in my head. But theatre friendship are often fleeting, and because of my loyalty I tend to get hurt by the fickleness of them. So intense and personal, then so nonexistant.
School tends to be another binding point for people. My friends now are teachers, ex student(I have ex students that are 40 years old)and old high school friends. But think about it, why are your friends your friends? Ever really thought about it?
Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Bruce, who I have known for 33 years. He is someone who has dropped in and out of my radar for most of that time. Sometimes I feel a little less sexy than his newer friends(sexy is just a term..it is not a term I would ever use for me, really) but I am a constant in his life. Riding down highway 1 yesterday,listening to music, and talking to him was such a treat. First off, the guy never gets lost. He has a gps in his head or something. Second of all, we have so much history that two things are true a) We can talk about anything and 2)We can be silent about anything.
I just loved it. No other jokes about it....just loved it.
The last thing about true friendship is the ability to appreciate rather than change. One of my other oldest friends has always had different tastes in music. What 16 year old in the early 70's listened to Englebert, or Tom Jones, Or Wayne Newton, or Even Elvis. Another of my friends knows nothing about music except if it is on a movie soundtrack. He owns thousands of them. One friend has collected stuff for years. What kid gets a toy and leaves it in it's wrapper?
One of my friends was kosher in high school, causing another of my friends to blow up and say "just eat the goddamned pork'. tHIS WAS MY CLOSE SET OF FRIENDS in high school. But they were who they were....And none of us ever drank or took drugs. Seriously. We just didn't. We liked each other, we were sure of who we were...and we didn't try to change anybody. And I have an appreciation for being kosher, collecting and Englebert....That's what friendship is.
My friends befriended a guy in high school who convinced us it was cool to yell fag from cars. I haven't seen him in thirty two years. He was hurtful. There is nothing hurtful about collecting soundtracks.
So this is a little different today. No as many jokes, but hoperfully, if anybody is reading this it sets you on the journey of thinking about those people who mean something to you. People who have made your life, or even your day.
Here's my list for the last 24 hours
Sallye and Greg
Erika(always,happy birthday, honey)
Rev. Scott Elliott