M: Are you my friend?
W’s brow scrunched up as he frowned.
W: Of course, why do you ask?
M: Friendship, seems so fickle you know, it comes and goes like the east wind. You go through revolving doors, sometimes you don’t even know the beginning or the end.
W: Yea, I can see what you mean, people kind of emerge like weeds on the lawn really, you just encounter someone and after spending consecutive times and moments with that someone, it blooms into a friendship.
M paused and stared up at the sky on a on sunny day. His eyes sank.
M: How do you know we’re friends?
W: I would say that because we’re sitting here side by side. We have a certain physical proximity to one another. But two strangers on a grungy subway are as close to one another as we are currently. And sometimes you’re so close to someone on an elevator that you can smell their odious breath. No, we know each other, details of our lives, our religion or lack-of, our personalities (like your disdain for felines in their claws), your siblings, or extra-curricular activities, and idiosyncrasies.
M: Like that odd delight you had of the aftertaste of licking stamps?
W: Shhh… you know nothing.
M: But what is the difference between a detective of some sorts who combs through someone’s trash, and a genuine friend? They could have such a databank of your life.
W: I guess it has to do with someone’s willingness for them to enter one’s crazy world. To open the top of our heads and scoop out the “stuff.” It’s the deliberation it takes to get to know about that someone, and for both parties, to accept the the existence of the other.
M: Yea, I remember the time you called me an asswipe and I almost knocked out your pearly whites.
W: You’re not an asswipe I said you were an asshole stealing that tub of ice cream from the lunch line and almost running over Janice.
M: OOhh I almost for got your brief infatuation.
W: Let’s wipe that from your hard drive.
M: Not before I wipe your ass. .
W: So you are an asswipe!
M: Anyways, what I was getting at is, there’s some kind of chemistry we have. A give and take, a pull or push. For every reaction you get an equal and opposite reaction.
W: Yea I suppose we do accept how we make complete fools of ourselves in the eyes of society.
M: But, there’s that problem again, we have to be together. some spirit or form or whatever. There is that interplay, call it a duet, duel, or dance, as we mentally spar one another for sport. As far as I understand friendship only exists,as long as communication channels continues.
W: And this dance…it continues but it is not competitive.
M: Yes, exactly.
W: But only as long as communicating continues…sharing emotions, feelings, memories. As we speak we try to bridge the neuro-gaps between us as two distinctive beings, not totally autonomous, but strikingly unique.
M: What do you think is the difference between friendship and romantic attraction? I mean that’s the thing with romance, there’s a cut-off point. a clear demarcation between dating and available. People pay attention to “relationships” on Facebook. But what happens when a friendship ends?
W: Nothing really.
M: Exactly, no one hears anything, not a squeak, maybe some left over whiskers of a cat, no body. It disappeared. And I figure there are pictures, as evidence, but who know they could be doctored. Friendships die, and no one seems to notice, no one’s concerned. But when you have a break-up, every seems to know. I mean your fucking world, for lots of people, falls apart. Friendships disappear, a slow escalator to the grave.
W: I see what you mean.
M: And what are the parameters for friendship?
W: I suppose when you stop caring or showing affection for the other. When you stop “liking” one another, you stop spending time, investing time.
M: Can you stop it with that language of “spending,” “investing,” you are starting to sound like a lucrative economist.
W: Okay, so when you stop giving attention to the other, when you don’t give a fuck.
M: That sounds better.
W: And at that point you bury someone, erase them from your existence. Until you reflect back on the past, and see that friendship at that time was only enjoyable or beneficial.
M: Who said friendship was beneficial? Because you certainly aren’t sometimes.
W: Perhaps not beneficial, as we don’t have a relationship to mere take. God knows that half the time it is a zero sum gain.But, we seem to enjoy each other’s company’s enough.
M: Yes, and sometimes it teaches me put up, with someone like you.
W: Hey you’re the asshole.
M: Just shut up and enjoy.
M and W smiled as they sat together on a park bench gazing into the sky.