Saturday, March 25, 2006

Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?/ Hey, baby/ Are we losing touch?

Read Mike Gayle's latest; it's called Brand New Friend. Passably interesting, but not a patch on My Legendary Girlfriend or Turning Thirty. But it does direct one's attention towards a huge problem -- how to make good friends once you're in your thirties.

I, for instance, find it quite impossible to strike deep/ meaningful/ close friendships, and it's not for lack of being social or extroverted. Truth be told, I'm downright friendly. But there are invisible boundaries to conversation over a drink, or chatting over a meal, or even that old favourite, going out to coffee.

And, whenever something important comes along, the people I do speak to remain the ones I turned to ten or fifteen years ago.

My closest friends are, now, in different cities. Some are married. Some are happy. Some keep in touch. But all are utter rocks. They've seen me through the worst -- and, obviously, the best -- of times. And, somehow, I'm loath to add to their number.

Certainly it's because I'm less trusting than I used to be way back when I first met them. Equally, it's because there are such few people who 'get' your kind of conversation/ humour/ personality easily. It's beyond liking the same kind of music or books; in fact, my tastes differ quite dramatically from most of my friends. And I'm not saying like-minded (what a horrible word) people don't exist; I'm quite certain they do. It's just that the chances of running into them are damn dim.

So it is that I go out, meet people, share conversation, meals, and the occasional movie with people I like, but who will never know me well enough to figure whether they truly like me in return.

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