Some days you have a bad day, and everything’s going wrong. There’s one person you can phone, or email, or go to their house and talk to them about it. Sometimes, that person isn’t the person that perhaps it was a month ago, and you feel kind of guilty. It’s not that you’re not friends with the other person any more but you’ve found someone else who understands you better…
Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning, I spent a long time texting one of my friends. The following evening he came over to my house to cheer me up. (And, being a blooming genius, fixed my mp3 player for me while he was about it.)
There are different types of friends. There are the friends that you know well enough to talk to about deep stuff, but not enough to tell secrets. There are friends you’ll tell secrets to, and get their advice, but only when you’re with them and not at three in the morning. When you’re having a crisis, they’re not the first person you’d think of. Then there are the friends with whom you used to talk every single day, and now they know far too much about you so you try not to hang out with them. Come on, I’m not the only one, am I?
There are the friends with whom you’ve secretly been in love for three years, and the friends that you can tell anything to. Sometimes, though, I think there are friends who wish you didn’t feel you could tell them anything ;)
There are the ex-best-friends. You know the ones. You hardly see them any more. They’ve changed schools or jobs or you don’t go to the same social events any more, and you just never see them. You miss them, but they’re just as busy as you are and you never get the chance to meet up. Perhaps you’ll occasionally call each other and talk and feel bad, but after a while even that fizzles out.
There are the friends that you’ve never met, people on the internet or penpals. They’re often very understanding people, and it’s comforting to know that they can’t stand there judging you because they don’t know that much about you. And they’re also people you perhaps wouldn’t come across in real life, so you get to learn so much about a completely different life.
But the best type of friends?
Perhaps there isn’t one type of friend that’s best. Personally, I think a friend who will fix your MP3 player free of charge, help you with your art homework, talk to your pet dalek and accept payment in jammy dodgers, is a pretty good friend to have. Especially if they look like your main character and are actually, secretly, the Doctor. But if I always hung out with Andy, I’d go insane. (No offence. You’re awesome.) And that’s not just because he thinks Eve Myles is ugly. Can we have a vote, by the way? Because she is seriously not. What do you think?
Sometimes I need a friend who gets my parents’ perspective, so they can explain it to me. Or a friend who’s been in the same situation and can sympathise. Or a friend who’s into dance, so they understand what I’m going through, instead of just asking why I rip my feet apart like this.
Even as writers – and it can’t be denied we spend a lot of time on our own, or with our invisible friends – have to have people in our lives. We can’t spend all our time in a room with a computer. We have to get out there and socialise, not just on the internet, but in real life.
I’m probably the world’s worst example of this. I’m sitting in the school library writing this blog post instead of hanging out with my friends during our lunch break.
But when I leave here, I’ll text someone, and they’ll reply, and that will make me smile.