This day finds me in the mood to do a bit of housekeeping. Not literally, but my life is full of "friends" from whom I do not hear, and who do not respond to my attempts at correspondence. This has gone on long enough, and I'm using it to justify some sort of overhaul. Mostly mental and perhaps emotional. It's not a purge of people who have moved on, for whatever reason. It's just an updated consideration of those who still seem to want to know me. I don't want to be a pest to C, for example, or A or D. I'm not using their names entire because that's not nice, especially if they see this as a pathetic attempt to get attention. It's not.
Every once in a long while, though, one has to do an audit. The people you really care about deserve it.
I've already eliminated about 20 "friends" from FaceBook, people I never actually met and whp wouldn't know me from a whole in the wall. Beyond that, it gets more difficult to parse. Apocalypse Cow is a friend from my point of view, but I know that the gentleman who uses that bovine nomenclature has a full and busy life, and probably sees me as a mere Internet acquaintance. No matter.
My brother and Linda are my best friends, as is my father. I tell Linda everything, and sometimes I fear that it's a terrible burden for her. She insists that it isn't, and loves me. I once told her that I don't need friends, I just need the woman I love, whatever you want to call that. Lover, or perhaps girlfriend. So in that sense, Linda is my everything, my all, my other self. My mortal beloved.
My advice to the kids is to fall in love with someone who is also your friend. Makes life much, much easier.
So beyond the surviving members of my family (my sister, brother, father and I), I'm close to my father and brother. And there is Linda. I'm not sure if I really want or need friends beyond that group, although I tend to think that I do. To that end, I've joined a "men's group" at my mental health clinic. Before I die, I'd like to challenge my inability to relate to men. It's why I'm there. Onward.
Where are my socialist friends and comrades? I still write to a few of them. Every so often I call David McReynolds and talk about his presidential campaign, or his cat, or something he's written in EdgeLeft. Yes, David is a friend. After that, it gets complicated and brings sadness with rumination. Every comrade has a story. A couple of Reds still think of me fondly, I think. And I think of more than a couple that way. Strong feelings here and there.
Former co-workers? Nope. Kept to myself, mostly, or played the clown. Either way, one doesn't make friends that way.
Neighbors? No friends, but people I'm friendly with and often speak with about this or that. None that I would call a "friend," though.
It paints an unflattering picture, but in my defense I think people generally like me, but I push them away. Far away. These days, I have maybe 4 friends that I could call on to bail me out of jail, not including family. That's a good test of friendship, isn't it? Two are ex-girlfriends and two I met at UMass or through a Lefty group.
Sentimentality is killing me. You can see that, can't you?