Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Old Yeller - A solo adventure for levels 1-4

Among the people who come from broken families there is an oft repeated saying.

My friends are my family.

It's almost like mantra for us. Friends said it with conviction twenty years ago, and different friends say it with conviction now. I've said it many times myself.

We say it because we don't have actual families. We know it's not quite accurate, but we hope it will be. We're social critters. We need to feel connected and loved. So we project a prophecy outward, and pray it self fulfills.

The problem is it rarely works. The combination of timing, chemistry, and personal commitment required to pull it off is extremely rare. The most common result is complete failure; someone simply disappears.

Paths diverge and people vanish. Sometimes they fall. Sometimes you push.

The next most common result is limbo. People wander forward, together but apart. Everyone is in contact, but there's no actual substance to the friendship. New families, new jobs, new hobbies and interests.... priorities shift like glaciers, slow and irrevocable.

This is where it falls apart me. I just can't stand it. I don't like human bookmarks. They're placeholders in an hourglass that can never be flipped over. Which brings us back to "Go" again. Everyone collect $200.

My friends are my family.

There will be a purge soon. For most of my bookmark friends, and it's stunning how many they number, these are the last days we'll ever know each other. It's not malice that brings us to this final rail stop.

It's social economics. I can't afford to have a family full of almost empty chairs. They can't afford another significant person in their busy lives. I'll miss them, but I miss them now.

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