Just a friend of mine

Published on 31 August 2023 at 17:35

Vaya con Dios - Just a Friend of Mine

I heard this song a very long time ago. I think I was fourteen or fifteen years old and somewhat in love with an older boy. He was listening to Vaya con Dios and Cat Stevens at the time and this song in particular,  had caught my attention. It's still funny to me how I remember each lover or potential lover let's say, by the artist or song they listened to at the time. No matter...a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

Just a friend of mine...already made me think back then about the ambiguity of friendship

And since I am forever true to my brand, I fast forward to the present day where adulthood and years of lost innocence has piled on yet more layers of ambiguity.

I thought to use some universally agreed upon definition of friendship...you know...like the dictionary...but what would be the point? Trend is science today. And since I've been told tenfold over that going against the flow is futile, I shall proceed to define friendship on my own terms and based entirely on my own subjective experience. Useful? Probably not. Cathartic? 


A girl taught me friendship once when I was nine years old and she was 12 or 13. Without the frills (which if you like you'll find in my second book Wonderland) she taught me that a friend doesn't leave another friend behind in order to save themselves from harm. Brothers in arms sort of thing. I've carried that concept with me  ever since.  A few years later, on another continent, another girl taught me trust. She chose to invest her time and effort in befriending me, much like the Little Prince did with his Fox. I'd refused her at first. I'd already been tamed and betrayed twice, simply by virtue of my ethnicity. It had hurt deeply to be discarded out of jealousy and ignorance. She, however, taught me patience and most of all trust. I trusted her with my emotions and she cared for them diligently until we split ways almost ten years later. We're still in touch today despite our divergent paths in life.

Beyond those early years of childhood and adolescence, friendship never really acquired more definition besides CARE and TRUST. Romance entered the playing field and corrupted all the notions. Boyfriends were all friends in the beginning, but once they became lovers, they became partners: play partners, life partners, business partners, dance partners etc...but no longer just friends. There was one more friendship that arose from the ashes of sex and partying and which has remained uncorrupted for over 15 years. Another girl...woman rather...who taught me compromise. We both hated and loved much the same things, and when there was a difference of opinion, we twisted it to suit us both. There was never a battle where we fought from different sides of the fence. She had my back and I had hers. Nothing was inevitable...it was all choice!


There was one more lesson to be learned about friendship, much further down the line. A man this time.

Perhaps it shouldn't count since our friendship became a partnership eventually. And yet...before there was love, there was resignation and beyond love, there was sacrifice:  


The four pillars of friendship, as defined by...me...and seemingly fewer and fewer others.

My adulthood journey through friendship has mostly ended in betrayal. Yes, an unfashionable term. Yet, betrayal is what it is when a friend discards you because they don't agree with bits and pieces of what defines you.

I'd like to believe that even with all the baggage, guilt and self loathing that we carry around as adults, we're still capable of achieving pair bonds greater than ourselves. For now, the only successful friendship I've had beyond my thirties, ended in marriage...and therefore doesn't count. 

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