So instead I will ponder this: Am I everyone’s dead end friend?
Recently, a college friend whom I got back in touch with after a long hiatus told me she was pregnant. “I’m not supposed to tell anyone until the second trimester, but I can tell you because you’re a dead end friend, meaning you don’t talk to anyone else I know.”
Another friend told me about a newly acquired STD (one of the mild, treatable ones, luckily). The news was top secret, and although he didn’t say so, I assumed I was hearing about it because I barely know his boyfriend or his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m enough of an Us Weekly reader that I like to learn about the various consequences of my friends’ sex lives, and more than that, I like to think of myself as someone people are comfortable confiding in.
But maybe it’s more that I’m harmless and tangential—not a part of anyone’s real everyday life. I’m 100 percent consequence-free, like a priest or a therapist.
I’ve long lamented that most of my friends don’t know each other. Maybe they meet once a year at my birthday party, but mostly I hang out with them individually and we fill each other in on our lives. So by definition, we must not exactly be part of each other’s lives, right?
It’s not that I’m some hermit who lacks meaningful relationships. It’s just that most of my see-‘em-every-week meaningful relationships are with people who wear some other crucial hat besides that of Friend. They are Girlfriend or Sister or Coworker. So I’m not always sure what counts.
Then I’m like, Maybe this is how modern urban people are. Connections are spread out. Fuck, I wrote a whole book based on that premise, and I tried to make it sound like it wasn’t a bad thing. But AK has a neat little group of friends who all know each other and all live no further west than West Hollywood and no further east than El Sereno. In L.A. that’s practically like living in the same apartment building.
Every once in a while I’ll meet someone who describes him or herself as flitting from group to group in high school: “I was friends with everyone—the jocks, the stoners, the drama kids. I’d eat with a different group everyday.” Sometimes I think the flitters must have been really awesome, wise-beyond-their-years kids. Other times I think they were just weird.
I guess I’m trying to figure out which I am, wise or weird. Or maybe I’m just trying to get a group together to go to the movies sometime.