Friends

I met a guy during orientation. A group of us went out to grab beers afterwards and I thought, sitting around a table and talking about nothing, that any one of these people could become my friend. This guy turned up in one of my classes, and we magically run into each other occasionally. Two weeks later he casually, in some form of teasing, drops the f-word. You know, the one that for some reason usually makes my spine crinkle in bad ways: “friends.” I very quickly squashed that delusion with a sharp flick of the tongue. “We are not friends, yet.”

It’s a critical moment in friendship, for me. A person who is actually interested in becoming my friend will dig deeper. They will ask why, and what is a friend. They will try to learn my definitions and possibly deeper understanding and friendship can be born. It’s rare though. Most people take if offensively, because most people have no real desire to be friends with anyone. They just want everyone to view them positively. Well, a friend is someone much more than a person that I kinda like and think is okay. A friend is someone that I trust and love. I am sorry, that does not come without some effort.

Usually.

On Friday I stopped by the doner place near to my house. For some reason I feel comfortable there. I feel welcome. There I had a small chat with the man selling doners and we were so excited and happy to have that conversation. I was offered tea, the Turkish sign of friendship, which I accepted, and I skipped out of the shop thinking to myself, “Hey! I made a friend!”

Stop. Pause. What? Why is it that I would consider him a friend and not this student? Is it because I expect more from Americans, or people who have a fluent understanding of the english language? Is it because I have a certain set of barriers for each person, and if they have the potential to be closer than their friendship is more precious and harder to obtain? Is it a quantity thing- if there are more of a single type of person around then it requires more? An identity thing? Something that I just cruelly inflict on people who I think MIGHT get it? I am not sure. It whirlwinded me into having to think more about friendship… again. <Sigh> 

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