|Me, taken by D in 1986|
I can never write too much about my friendships -- those with women and the rare ones with men. There is one man who is, certainly, my dearest male friend, but he's also one of my best friends, ever. I met him before I turned 21, in a restaurant where we both waited tables. At some point, I read him aloud Eudora Welty's short story Why I Live at the P.O., and nearly thirty years later we've made a pact that we'll read the other the same story, whoever is on his or her deathbed first. Or maybe I suggested the idea and forced him to agree. We continue to argue over who's dying first and will probably do so until he takes his last breath, as I read the final paragraphs:
Of course, there's not much mail. My family are naturally the main people in China Grove, and if they prefer to vanish from the face of the earth, for all the mail they get or the mail they write, why, I'm not going to open my mouth. Some of the folks here in town are taking up for me and some turned against me. I know which is which. There are always people who will quit buying stamps just to get on the right side of Papa-Daddy.
But here I am, and here I'll stay. I want the world to know I'm happy.
And if Stella-Rondo should come to me this minute, on bended knees, and attempt to explain the incidents of her life with Mr. Whitaker, I'd simply put my fingers in both my ears and refuse to listen.
Have you ever written about your friendships? Leave a link in the comments, if you want, and tell us about it.
Here's mine, to D:
A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious
daring starts from within.
We ate shrimp and grits at a small round table, and we drank a lot of wine. We drank so much wine that I drew stick figures on a napkin proving that I wasn't a prude, and you leaned so far back in your chair (you might have been laughing) that it tipped over. We might have been screaming with laughter, as far as I know, the rest of the people in the restaurant receding, their mouths open, silent. Years later, I picked you up from a Greyhound bus station in Nashville, Tennessee, trailing an enormous suitcase. You fixed my air-conditioner and swept out my apartment, and when I came home from my shift, I lay on the bed and you on a sleeping bag beside me and we talked in the darkness, and we talked through the years on the phone and in letters and now over polenta and eggs and no one makes me laugh harder.