If you know the answer to this question, you're most likely over the age of 28.
And you recognize good music.
For the underprivliledged few who aren't in the know, I'm talking about friends.
Two of my best friends, Meek and Jay, rang my phone in sucession mid-afternoon on New Years Day. I'd just risen from a coma-like sleep induced by a 12 hour New Years Eve shift where my partner and I got our asses handed to us with non-stop calls from 9:00 pm to 6:30 am and at one point, ended up having to remove a small piece of some dude's intestine from the inside door of our ambulance.
Above: This image + 12 hours = effing ridiculous.
(Aside: Chester, Pa. I won't miss you AT ALL when I've responded to my last call as a paramedic. Real talk.)
The funny thing about both calls was that both of them wanted to talk about friendship.
Meek wanted to talk about how I would define the term "Best Friend" and Jay wanted to basically chop it up about the same thing. He's been feeling introspective lately since he became a husband and father.
All that talking to those two got me thinking about the people who I call my "Best Friends."
Hell, it got me thinking about who I called "friend," period.
You have to be EXTRA careful about who you let into your cipher in '09 because most people out there are on some extra-hateful, crabs-in-a-barrel, "et tu, Brute?" type shit these days.
To paraphrase Serius Jones, "you can't have too many squares in your circle."
Above: Caesar was NOT a good judge of character. At all.
The hallmark of true friendship in your humble author's opinion, entails loyalty. Fierce, resolute and undying loyalty to another person ESPECIALLY if you call this person your "Best Friend."
Another sign of true frienship is the fact that your friend is going to up you on the shit you NEED to hear as opposed to the bullshit you WANT to hear. People who know you only marginally or not at all will smile and nod when you're starting to drink your own kool-aid. Your true friends probably won't go in on you in public BUT, they WILL pull you to the side, tell you to shut the f-note up and call you on your bullshit as soon the opportunity presents itself.
Your best and closest friends know the most intimate details about you and the things that you've done and been through. (They were probably personally involved in 99.9999% of it anyway. Criminal shit and other embarrasing moments whether they involve you being drunk and/or high are indeed, included.)
Above: "Don't worry fam. Despite all this, we're still cool."
You've probably wronged or pissed off your closest friends at some point. In a major way. I'm not saying that this is always true, but if you've been down with each other for any long period of time, this has probably happened. But you forgive them and they forgive you because y'all are fam-and nothing comes between that.
You may or may not speak to your best friends for years at a time. Life happens and before you know it, a year might've gone by. But all it takes is one phone call. Just to catch up in general-or even more so when shit is thick. Anybody can be around when shit's lovely; that's easy. Your "Fam" is there when you're at your lowest; battered, bloody and feeling like you can't go on. And they're usually the ones picking you up and dusting you off while everyone else was counting you out.
The people who REALLY have your back will have YOUR back over almost all others. I care about my peoples various SO's in their own right, but don't ever get it twisted: my loyalty lies with my friends. First, last and always. I make no apologies for that at all.
Most of all, a true friend loves you for YOU, not what they WANT you to be. Watch those folks out there who are constantly trying to change you. They are probably not your friend. Hell, they probably don't even really LIKE you.
So this post goes out to my "Best" friends:
This one's for y'all. I love you guys eternally and will seriously come out of character for and in defense of, all of you, if the need ever arose.
(Post Blog Note: Thanks to the NEW subscribers/posters to this blog, the beautiful and intellectually swagtastic PBG, PGH_Muse, Jae and Suga. And to the lovely BBmo and to my man Chris, thanks again for reading. I just want to wish all of you guys a happy and blessed 2009.)
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