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On friendship | The problem with ‘us’ in the age of ‘me’

I’m writing this thirty thousand feet in the air.
The turbulence is driving me crazy. And I’m sure that this ill-advised second of bottle of wine, at any given moment, will demand its way out of my stomach.
What am I doing?
Nothing brings out pitiful self-reflection quite like fear. But to be honest, deep down inside I know these heart wrenching shakes – they’re nothing more than part and parcel of the whole travelling ‘experience’.

I once had a conversation with a woman that comes to mind right now.
It is the stuff of my nightmares.
I can’t remember what started the conversation, or even what the rest of  it was about, but it haunts me:
“…all friendships eventually die, and so will you.”
So simple.

But it broke me.

A decade later and I am still a spotty, acne ridden teen, a slave to the power of those words. What was strange was, at the time, I remember scoffing at it; blazing with confidence.
Ha! Whatever.
Whatever you say, you old bag.
I had my Bee, I had Marie, Susan and the other one (I forget her name now). We were partners in crime and though disjointed, aloof and dissimilar – we were friends.
In my mind, our friendship would stand the test of time, long after our minds had abandoned us, long after our bodies had disintegrated. A saccharine laden story of friendship.
Our very own Sisterhood of  Travelling – whatever-it-was-called?

As I grew older (and older still), most of the friendships I so jealously guarded, peeled away to leave nothing but that familiar cloying aftertaste on my lips. Maybe she was right?
What was the use?
Petty feuds, squabbles, misinterpretations and insinuations had become my daily bread.
I felt and (although I won’t often admit it) still feel, at times, crushed from the weight of it all.

But then you still have Bee!

What is a Bee, you ask? And how does one get one?
It is not a thing, it is a someone.
But it’d be lying if I said I have never taken her for granted. That I never felt that urge to pull away. That I never had that feeling well up inside me, at the slightest sign of trouble, urging me to run from it all.
The familiar is always the first to be neglected, hurt, even cast aside.

But we grew up together.
Our lives were and still are mirrors, chronicles if you will, of time itself; as it rushes by us, at a pace I’ve long since given up counting.
From that very first day on our bikes, nervously making our introductions, with that familiar, “hi, wanna be my friend?”
Bee has been the unrelenting paradigm of sisterly love.
Our naivety blossoms into experience.

At one point in our lives, we all have (or have had) a Bee.
But do we really know what that truly means?

She is proof that unconditional love exists. With no real familial bonds to obligate us… She is here.
But strangely enough no matter how far I run from myself, I know, the moment I turn back, there she’ll be.
Arms outstretched. Sans judgement. Sans malice.

In this instagram age, and the purported reign of the ‘Id’, her love reigns supreme.

To me, it defies all logic. And so, I awkwardly reciprocate in kind.
Hands clasped, I make a silent prayer to the Gods that be, praying that this is real. Because how can it?

I am the product of a selfish generation.
I am conditioned to run to the first sign of pleasure; existing on to satiate momentary highs.
I feud with foes in a virtual battlefield; affected by the faceless criticisms from behind an LCD screen.

It’s all I’ve ever known.

Funnily though, is that I can actually remember a time when I would walk to the library and find books – on shelves! But those are relics of the dark ages, as distant now (thanks to light pollution) as the stars in the sky, and:
“…as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.” [Shakespeare anyone?]

I digress.

I am no scientist. So the following words may offend, but if you disagree, then let’s just agree to disagree.

Many people don’t have a clue who their real friends are.
Or what it means to have real friends.

As a citizen of Generation Y, all I have to back up this claim are my own personal and meandering experiences. That is really all I have to go by.  Because believe it or not world – a biased experience is still an experience.
Can you blame me if everywhere I turn, so-called friendships are being offered up as kindling to heat the never-ending fires of the ego? We compete with each other, and then ourselves and then some…

I’ve landed now. I’m home now.
I’ve spent the last three days, staring at the screen, trying to figure out how I will finish this incoherent ramble.
I can’t.
Unfortunately sobriety brings with it hardheadedness and now I am guarded again.
I can’t or won’t speak. 
Again. You don’t have to agree with anything I’ve written.

I’m not even sure I agree with me.
All I know is I have a Bee.



  1. I can read this again and again, love it, love it, love it! Did I say I love it? Lol yeah it’s amazing, alright i’m done talking, sounding like a creep. Love you Zippy xx

    • Oh Bee, I love you too.
      Always and forever. Errm…
      I think I’m the creep, seeing as how I basically wrote an ode. You’ve always been there for me, even when I’m in my stubborn meathead mode. We grow, we change, but out friendship just takes on new stronger dimensions that I’ve grown to love and look forward to.
      It’s a gift I treasure with all my heart ❤

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