Friends Like These

Photo credit: Greg Raines

It’s bizarre to think in a world burgeoning with people that real friends are a rare find. But they are. And yet every now and then, we’re lucky enough to find friends like these …

Like the ones who accept you totally for you. Then there’s nothing you have to be around them except you. You on the good days, you on the bad days, you on your I-don’t-even-fuckin’-know days. You. Blemishes and split ends and mental illnesses and hang ups and all. Every single piece of you is okay.

They’re the ones who will always be honest. Like when your dream is to get onto that reality show and sing your heart out but you really just sound like a choir of cats, your friends will be the ones to spare you the international embarrassment. Unless international embarrassment is your actual aim. And then they’ll love you anyway.

But they don’t judge. Even when they think you’ve chosen to navigate the most impossible flight plan, even if they worry that you might fall, they believe in you anyway and give you the space (or the pom poms) you need to do whatever it is that you need to do. And if you do fall, they’ll be there to catch you.

They listen. Not because they have to, but because they want to. Because they, for some kind of weirdly wonderful reason that you’re not about to challenge, actually like you enough to give a damn. They even listen when you’re not saying a word. And can write volumes from your silence.

They remind you that you’re human. When you’re kicking yourself six ways from Sunday because you made a mistake, or you missed something, or you didn’t miss it and crashed into it instead, or you coloured outside the lines, they’ll remind you that it’s just what humans do sometimes.

They give you what you need before you even have to ask. Even if that just means doing something small like attacking the dishes piled up in your sink. And if they have no idea as to what you need right now, they’ll ask, and then pull at all the strings that tie the earth to the moon to make sure you have it. Or at the very least draw you a stick figure to make you laugh.

And they will make you laugh. Mostly at yourself. Because when you’re that indignant/ outraged/ stroppy/ stupid/ pompous, you’re that funny. You have to be. Otherwise you’re just another asshole and you wouldn’t have friends as rare and awesome as these.

But mostly, they’re strong for you even when they’re not strong for themselves. Because life doesn’t organise our troubles into neat little sections; first it’s your turn, then yours, ooh and now it’s yours. Sometimes all the shit is happening to all of us at once and we owe it to friends like these to be there for each other no matter what’s going on in our own lives.

Because that’s how we get through. And friends like these are worth every beat of the heart.

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