Saturday, April 3, 2010

the usefulness of friends

I've never had a problem making friends. well... thats not true. when i was 10 i only had one friend. Tiana the buck-toothed girl with the big glasses and odd braids..of course i was the little weird whimpy boy that everyone called a girl. we were pretty much alienated by everyone. but that changed over time. i learned how to be charming and draw people in and by the time my childhood came to a close i had a pretty good system of making connections with people. But the problem is that once ive made a friend what do i do with them? how close do i let them get? how often do i call? how much do i rely on them for emotional support? how many favors do i ask? how much time do i make to be there for them and help them if needed? with a sea of friendships these questions exponentially increase.

An old friend died a few days ago. at least id like to think she was a friend. i knew her for many years. worked with her on various project, shared many, many mutual friends...greeted her with enthusiasm if we happen to be in the same place...but other than that i have no idea what she was going through. what her life was like day to day...what her hopes and fears were...this was an amazing human being that ive shared such wonderful times and cultural experiences..and yet i made no effort to maintain or expand our friendship over all those years. her passing has shaken me out of a long slumber of complacency regarding my friendships. i have strong friendships. and i work with friends on many levels. but im afraid that what my friendships have become pales in comparison to what is possible. "but you are so busy" i tell myself.."how can you possibly make time for the people in your life right now"...and that is true.

I am at a critical time in my life. preparing to unveil the culmination of my lifes work in just a few short months and making plans to take down the music industry at the same time is no small feat. every ounce of my being is focused on that goal. But then someone dies. and i think about all these wonderful people in my my life. and how infrequently i actually see them. And how much I ask of them on my mission. My friends are amazing. They perform in my music videos for free, they put up with my forever-lateness, they put up with me calling them only when i need something, or not calling them at all.....and somehow i dont drive them away. When i think about them i feel love. When i think about them i want them to succeed. I want to be there for them. I want them to feel like they can rely on me...and yet, these thoughts are fleeting and more often than not unspoken. I feel like i dont have the time to properly cultivate my friendships..and yet without them i am alone. I am suddenly saddened by how out of touch i have become with my friends. and there it is again..the definition of friendship.

So this is my brainstorm. the usefulness of friendship. whats the use? to stave off loneliness? to have a companion when you walk into a party? a shoulder to cry on? a hand to help when you need to move heavy things? someone to walk through life with under shared experience? maybe all of these things. i feel like a fucking hallmark card.."friendship is.." with disgustingly cute little kittens snuggling up to one another... but i digress. Thinking about my friend who died and how much she was many many friends..and yet in the end she called no one. reached out to no one. took the ultimate solitary act of claiming one's own life. In some ways i can relate: as my mind whirls through friendship after friendship until it almost implodes on itself and rather than choose who to share myself with and how much to give and take..i end up alone. how does one keep track of all these people floating through? its enough to make me want to retreat into an web of digital anonymity where i can organize people in easy to comprehend rows and "favorite" or "delete" with the push of a button and sit and watch a feed of what everyone ive ever known is doing at that moment and never have to actually pick up my phone because i already know it all.

What it comes down to is that I am ready to redefine my friendships. I dont want to wake up one day and realize that ive lost the people who are closest to me. figuratively or literally. So to all my friends: to all my friends i never all my friends i only call to help me with something, to all my friends i only call to work on something with me, to all my friends i only call to "not show up to a club alone"; my apologies. i love you. i want to be closer with you. but i dont seem to know how. I'ts like I mastered the first stage of friendship and never moved beyond that. but i want to learn. There is nothing like death to alter a habit and im ready to reinvent my relationship to friendship. a friend. such an amorphous might be easier if friendships were declared like marriage...with vows and a list of expectations...that would make it so much easier....but we humans are left to our own devices...a sea of bodies clamoring to find a place. clamoring to define stand apart..but be connected..if only for a moment, and ideally on our own terms...and more than anything running from loneliness.