For some reason, I was thinking other day about my friends - probably one of those round the houses thought processes that starts off with one thing, goes to another and ends up linking in the most tenuous way possible to the original idea. In any case, it's my birthday in a couple of months. Thirty-nine this year so no prizes for guessing when I hit the big four oh. Almost forty and when it comes to friends (as in the ones I have in day to day life rather than the good people I've met online), I've made no more than a few new ones in the last decade or so. I'm seeing a couple tonight and case in point, I've been friends with them since we were sixteen or seventeen. This is obviously a fine thing. And it's got me thinking: the friendships we make at pivotal points-whether or not we know these are pivotal points-are the ones that last. And by pivotal, I don't mean huge, life-altering events although that can be the case, of course. I'm talking about the times that mould us into the people we end up being. That can be when you're five and in your first year of primary school and you play at lunchtime with the kid who'll one day be joint best man at your wedding.
It can be forming a bond with a guy based on not much more than drinking too much cheap lager and laughing at Beavis & Butthead, and then realising you've made a friend for life.
can be a cold October day, sitting in your History class and bored out
of your head by the repeal of the Corn Laws so you share that boredom
with the guy next to you and the girl on the desk behind.
can be sitting in a pub beer garden when only a few of the group are
old enough to legally drink and someone makes a shit joke that you laugh
at and still laugh at twenty years later when you think of it.
It can be working in your job and expecting nothing to change when a
pretty girl comes in for an interview and you get talking and not too
long later, you're living together and you ask her to marry you and she says yes.
little moments. The pivotal moments. That's where friendship comes
from, grows from. It's when the darkness is lit with little lights.
the colour fell out of Mick’s face and out of Will and Karen’s coats,
then out of the walls, then out of the floor. Everything around him
became a dead grey. The steady beat of the music dropped into a tuneless
drone; the men and women around him and crowding the long bar became
transparent. Andy stared through them, tasting the cry in his mouth and
wondering from far off if it would be as faded and ghostly as everything
around when it finally arrived. The drinkers became shadows and the
sounds of their voices and laughter were the distant rumble of thunder.
grey of the floor vanished. The floor was gone. Andy stared at an
endless black that dropped into nothing. He stood over it, a meaningless
mote in the void.
His cry finally broke free and he fell into the
nothing, Mick beside him, Stu, Karen and Will above, then below. Black
The world was darkness.
Darkness lit with little lights.