When I think about friendship I think—with words forever brandished by a sporty swoosh—of the impossible as possible. Filia. That impossible is something like ‘love.’ Or, if I’m less hesitant, strike out the something like and say the word ‘love,’ in its full awkward, gawky, goopy, sentimentalising disclosure. Because, to ‘love’ in—maybe equally awkward, sentimentalising (not gangly, not goopy)—‘a relationship,’ is the hardest thing we choose to do because we think we want to do it. The work of it. The labour of love, lost and found. In comparison, the ‘art of friendship,’ or, ‘the work of friendship,’ (‘art’ and ‘work’ being the same) can, more often than not, yield a love not caveated by anxieties, doubts, difficulties and death-drives. And this is a kind of possible impossible love. Where your protestations of the ‘L word’ are made without worrying over syntax or semantics or symbology of the saying. In this way it is gawky. In this way it is direct return (a boomerang comes back as a boomerang and not as a missile). In this way you may avoid the tragic consequences of caring for someone the wrong way. Toxicity you didn’t see. So much so, to borrow that best of song titles, love goes to building on fire. Friendship, the kind that flutters your heart, your memory of time, the present-present, may be a building not on fire. Not going to either. (Here, I do not of course discount the possibility of falling out with your friend in the most anthraxxy way: stinking silence; enmity; disappointment that weighs more than all the ore in the earth.) What I’m saying, is that friendship can be fuelled by love rich in pleasure and low in pain. Filia. Feels good. Looks good. Keeps its head out of trouble. Makes the world more of a world you want to be part of. Can be part of. Filia. I feel that. I feel that way. Two.

Advertisements