Originally posted on September 18, 2016, “Won’t You Stand By Me” ponders what happens to our friends as we grow up.
Friends, especially good ones, are so hard to come by nowadays. It’s a concept more fascist than friendly at Balaam where a few Mussolinis order around the subjugated majority who swear their lives to the illusionary hierarchy of popularity.
The above quote from Chapter 3 of my unpublished manuscript Knowing When You’re Too Young to Grow Up presents the clique system that dominates a fictional high school. This system, in my experience as a student and as a teacher, still exists although it dissolved towards the end of senior year once the realization set in that everyone’s different and that’s okay – funny how Fairfield University, my alma mater was so very similar. The undertone of the quote, though, is that some pursue acceptance more than genuine friendship.
I learned that lesson early on in my quest for friends in elementary and middle school. At the time, I didn’t realize you can have so many friends you have no friends. A paradox, it intimates that knowing people doesn’t constitute an actual friendship with them much in the same way that knowing information doesn’t mean you understand it. Friends and acquaintances aren’t not synonyms.