Words of Wisdom:

"Those who stoop to conquer are fools." - Ezslax

Be My Friend

  • Date Submitted: 02/27/2013 09:17 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 84.3 
  • Words: 1364
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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I was sitting in the park last week with a good friend, a friend of his, and two friends of that guy’s — a curly-haired girl with a happy kind of laugh-y attitude, and a blond hipster with a crooked smile in cutoffs. After the two appeared with bikes and sat beside us, I engaged in standard friend-making tactics.

A smile, an introduction, an earnest compliment, that compliment repeated when I thought it wasn’t heard (because who the eff doesn’t respond to a compliment from a new acquaintance?), a second, less earnest compliment when the first fell flat, and then silence.

Did they not see me? Did they not hear me? I once wrote a story about a boy who was invisible. I wondered, was this solipsism? Was I creating the universe? Was fiction now reality? Because I am effing crackerjack at making friends, and this should not have been happening. This is not a thing that I have trouble with, except in New York, where, as with breathing the air, everyone has a little trouble with it.

My friend went to the bathroom and left his puppy in my charge, a French Bulldog named Cee Lo. He and I relate, and we tend to bro down hard. So I was at least not alone. We held each other, and I wondered what to do. Because it was now apparent that — oh God — these people didn’t want to be my friend.

I tried to contribute to the conversation, to ask questions, to draw parallels. I tried to illustrate common ground. The hipster was applying for work at a startup that my company invested in. A company where I know people. Bizarrely, I had just been trading emails with one of the founders that morning. An in!

“Yeah?” said the hipster, in a lazy kind of ‘meh’ voice (to what? To who? To — no, come back!).

He turned to the girl with the curly hair and changed the subject. It was New York, now. But hey, I lived in New York! I love New York. My mother grew up in Manhattan. My grandfather bootlegged liquor for an Italian restaurant there, during the Great Depression when he was small...

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