I’m the type that chooses to have few friends. That doesn’t mean that I’m not friendly – in fact, I have several classmates and colleagues I hang out with, and those people consider me their friend.
However, it’s still a fact that their definition of ‘friend’ differs from mine. To a lot of people I know, we exchanged names and found a common hobby, bam! Suddenly we were friends. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for me. As you might have gathered in my last post, to me, a friend is something more than someone I hang out with. To me, a friend is something rarer, more intimate, and more precious than that.
I’ll also admit, I’m a sucky, contradictory person. I don’t like letting people know how great my friends are because I want to keep them to myself, but I also want people to know how great they are because they are great and should be admired and adored. So, here I am, introducing them against my better judgement. Alas.
One such dear friend of mine is one who, online, I will call Danny (wordpress, tumblr, art blog). She’s wonderful and sweet, and she draws me cute pictures. My current avatar, in fact, is also her handiwork.
We’re pretty much constantly in contact – in fact, as I am writing this post right now, I am on a skype call with her. I am typing as I talk out loud, and I am sure it is bound to get annoying right now about now. I will probably edit this later, but in any case, moving on.
Wow, I really didn’t think through what this post was going to be about, uh. There aren’t really too many stories I can share out of respect for her privacy and my desire to remain mostly anonymous. I suppose I can give a brief, kind of shady sounding version of how we met. Read the following in the thickest Brooklyn accent you can imagine. Ahem.
So I was part of this private society, see – reputable place, full o’ rich folk. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it was quiet. Too quiet. Gave me too much to think about, see – got my head filling the silence with some questionable ideas, and I needed an outlet. I decided to pull in my contacts and start up a special… organization, if you will. It took off real swell. Soon, I was the big boss, cornering the market on some nondescript recreational good.
And like any other business, sooner or later, I started catching eyes. People keeping tabs on me. People looking to cash in, make their own reputation, invest in their futures, if you know what I mean. Now, Danny – she wasn’t one of those lot. In fact, she didn’t want anything to do with me. She just happened to be friends with certain folk who were interested in what I had to offer.
I had no interest in Danny, myself. At first she was just one of the rabble – a tier above the riffraff, but small fry all the same. If she was in, she was in. If she was out, who cared. Didn’t matter much to me. Until the day things went wrong.
She asked to see my phone. Can’t quite remember what for. All that matters is that I’d had a long day – business was booming and my job was to keep it running smooth as clockwork. So sue me, I was busy, a little distracted, and I gave her my phone.
Forgot I had something to hide.
Danny read it out loud, and I’ll admit it – I went ice cold. It takes a lot to faze someone in my line of work, but she did it. She was halfway through the next on the list before I snatched it from her hands.
I gave her a look, the kind that set others scampering with their tails between their legs, and she did nothing but stare right back. I already knew from her eyes that she knew too much, but she wasn’t going to do anything. No, different as we were, she had her own sense of dignity, and from that point on there was a quiet kind of connection.
From that point on, I kept an eye on her – mind you, just to make sure she didn’t rat me out. Instead I noticed that she was pulling more than her fair share of weight and soon she rose to second in the chain of command. Now, some of you might be thinking there was a little bit of, say, persuasion involved. Nah. Danny was just that good.
And actually, rather than on edge, I found that it was almost a relief to have someone know. Didn’t have much to hide from Danny after that. Eventually she asked me to take a look at something a friend of hers brought to her attention, and we ended up tearing through that piece of work like dogs to yesterday’s dinner. There was no turning back after that.
Eventually I outgrew the business – had nothing left to offer it. After I left, it was all hers. I got a few flies on the wall telling me that Danny’s done good work, gotten our goods out all the way to the upper echelons of society. Real proud of her, I am.
Those days are long behind us now, both of us. Still, despite going separate ways, Danny and I keep in good contact. Every day, in fact.
And that is the story of how Danny and I met, yup, absolutely exactly that. Let me tell you, though, we had it rough – for some time, she lived a 14 hour time difference from me, and getting our schedules to sync up to skype took a lot of sleep-time shuffling to figure out. And once we figured it out, suddenly we’re the same timezone!
So, long tangential story aside, what’s Danny like?
Well, this is the kind of Valentine she sent me this year, and I think it says a lot, ahaha. I can only really give my own opinion of Danny, of course, but I’m confident that anyone who gets to know her would share my assessment.
Danny is a lovely lady with a great sense of humor who draws me far more cutely than I am in reality (even though my reaction up there is probably spot on). Her personality is understated until you get to know her, but under the right conditions, her laugh can fill a room, and she has one of those warm laughs that will always make, never break, a mood. Well, unless the mood is tension thick as silly-putty, because she can deal with that real quick, ball it right up and toss it out a window.
She’s smart, too. I say this all the time, and it sounds kind of icky, I know, but I’m not friends with anyone who isn’t smart. Okay, but hear me out – I’m not trying to be ableist, and I don’t mean grades. Really, I couldn’t care less what grades my friends get unless the grades are something important to them personally. To me, intelligence is more of a personality and a relative thing, I guess.
To me, being smart means having the willingness to improve, whether that be in a general sense or at a specific activity. Life-smart, not book-smart. As I always say, “Don’t be friends with people that you can’t learn from or won’t motivate you to change for the better.” I surround myself with individuals that I can respect, individuals who in turn for my care inspire me to become someone I can be proud of. Danny is most certainly all of these things.
And beyond that, Danny’s also an intellectually and emotionally intelligent young woman – she’s helped me through some struggles, for sure, sometimes years after it took place. It’s a small but significant thing, especially when I have a tendency to keep things to myself. I’m always the one acquaintances vent their problems to, and I found it distasteful, so I always tried to deal with emotional things on my own. Before I got to know Danny, I mostly vented in emails to myself in desperation to keep things private.
I guess in that sense, I’m sorry that she has to deal with my occasional complaints, but it’s also a sign of trust I suppose. It speaks to her character that I can trust that she will keep my problems private as well as try to remain understanding. Sometimes she gets angry on my behalf for things I don’t even realize I should be angry about, and it’s always a surprise to me. Ah shoot wait she’s going to read this post i forgot mmmmmngh;;;;;
Moving on, her talents include the ability to appreciate and cultivate beauty, whether it’s visual art, home decor, or a written story. There’s a reason people go asking her for opinions. In my case, Danny is one of very few people I trust to read my rough drafts and give me proper advice. I can say with all honesty that she can pinpoint the weaknesses in my writing with precision, and I can trust her to tell me without worrying about whether or not I’ll be offended (or if she is, she does a superb job of hiding it).
As visible from this tiny showcase, she’s also good at drawing – her style is so cute! On top of that, she’s open-minded about my story ideas, no matter how outlandish or disturbing. I mean, we probably wouldn’t have ended up friends otherwise because one of the first ideas I told her about was… uh. Human voodoo dolls. I’m. I’ll talk about that some other day, maybe.
In any case, Danny functions as my sounding board, but she also has her own cool ideas that she sometimes gives to me, and I’m always excited when she does. You’ll probably see a bunch of flash fiction pieces uploaded here which were directly prompted by her. That’s not her only creative talent though, because when I say she can cultivate beauty, I mean beauty in its many forms. She’s a good cook and a fantastic baker, and she never ceases to surprise me with her affinity for crafts.
This started off strong but now I’m derailing and falling into a laundry list of positives. Uh, to balance this out, let’s list some downsides. She’s too easy to talk to and I find myself distracted because our conversations are always fun, and she always brags about the food she made when science has yet to invent a way to email baked goods. There, that’s it, those are her downsides. That totally balanced this out.
I’m sorry, I’ve just ended up boasting about what a good friend I have, I’m sorry internet and readers, please don’t unfollow me;;
But really, meeting Danny was purely by circumstance. I think it’s fair to say that, as far as friends go, I just got lucky, but that’s not to say that we just clicked immediately – any relationship, be it with family or friends, takes effort. It was constant communication that preserved our friendship despite the fact that half of it was spent on opposite sides of the world from each other.
For those of you who feel lonely out there, please believe me when I say that you’ll find friends in unexpected places with unexpected people, but once you feel a connection, if you value that emotional thread, put the effort in to make sure it doesn’t fray.
Meetings are circumstance, a connection is chemistry, but a relationship – be it friendship, familial, or romantic – is constant effort. And if you’re not willing to put that effort in, maybe you have to evaluate the relationship itself. However, also remember that it’s a two-way street. If the other party isn’t willing to put in the effort, then perhaps they’re not worth your time.
I guess I should’ve waiting on introducing my friends until I write a post about my friend philosophy, but I got overeager. I had a feeling that Danny is going to be relevant to this blog, so I wanted to introduce her as soon as I could, ahaha. I’ll be introducing the rest of my friends in the future.