Friday, August 20, 2010

New Orleans Giving thanks

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Sine Qua Non
Who Loves Ya?
Well, we’re coming up on Thanksgiving and besides the blessing of being alive, in relatively good shape and possessing a somewhat cognitive mind, I can’t think of a thing worth being thankful for.
Except-- (you knew that was coming, dincha?)-- except for the dear hearts and gentle people that live in my life or, I in theirs. The ones who call us friends and that we call friends in return. Friends.
You got ‘em, I got ‘em; I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done nothing to deserve them aside from just being yourself. Funny how it works both ways; you know, free to be you and me and all that kind of stuff.
What do you call them? What’s in a word? Friends, chums, buddies, pals, amigos or a ‘peep’ whom you would look to for approval when you take a spur of the moment sheet-shaker in for a sleep over. Oooo, maybe a con-fi-dant? And, what defines a friendship? Harmonic reciprocative symbiotic convergence or…
Someone that would take a bullet for you?
Hmmm; well, well, well, a bullet? I don’t know that friendship, or I, would go that far; pause, deep breath, that sounds more like love, parental contra-interception, sacrificial masochism or in the least filial piety. No, I wouldn’t go that far under incidental circumstances; however, if we were in a food fight in Packastrami or Upper Nuoc Mammou I may concede to cutting the mustard but not just for any Frank… furter.
Two peanuts were walking down the street; one was a saulted… peanut.
Defining a true friendship is unformulated and nebulous in nature at best, just like those last lines. Is a friend somebody whose advice you take? Nah. Somebody whose advice you listen to? You bet, and not only that, it’s the person who you will ask for the advice that you’re not going to take!
A friend will take you on an adventure but probably not on a vacation, a friend is someone that will share bad news with you when they need a mirror of empathy and share good new for the same reason; it’s that same person that will laugh with you when you look silly and stop you when you’re being stupid, or absurd. If you and your friend have a difference of opinion, you will talk of other things, period. A friend doesn’t mind you listening to the Wu-Tang Clan (as long as you do it by yourself). If you want the last slice of pizza and your friend does also, they won’t feel bad about you sharing it.
Perhaps (you or) your friend knows more about something than you do; you know, rumors, gossip, how to tame that outbreak etc; well, when your friend’s (or you’re) talking, it’s ‘shut up and listen’ time, idn’t? Y’all will always listen to eachother in polite contemplation and understanding; that goes without saying, dudden’t? It’s what friends do, ain’nt?
It’s as if you, looking up from your reading, asked: “what exactly do they mean by a ‘stitch in time’: how do you stitch time?” Why, your friend would turn politely to you and reply: “what the !@#$%^&* are you talking about?” (See what I’m saying?) Friendship.
In the world of humor that we have, that bases its funnies on human frailty, your friend will catch you before slipping on the banana peel busts your butt. A friend will pull tricks on you but will never knowingly hurt your feelings; and, malicious mischief will be one bullet that they will take for you. Protection and attraction makes friends friends. A friendship is the best thing that you can have in a lover, relative, child or parent; and yes, somebody is giving me a nickel for every time I use the word “friend” in a sentence. (Not really, it just seems like it.)
Onward. Friends are friends in proximity and at a distance, I have people that I can call my friends that I haven’t had contact with for years. Years. And so have you, if you’ve got any friends at all. Being around your friends make you want to be around them all the more, they have compassion and concern for you. You will seek their endorsement on important matters: “does this dress make me look fat?” semi-colon, immediate response: “you’re not fat!” (Friendship).
Sit down, I’ll tell you a little story:
Girlfriend, once upon a time, back in the day, did belong (belonged?) to a loosely knit and tightly dressed group of women who rallied around a single philosophy; they called themselves…The Slut Sisters. Well, to make a long story longer, time and tide spread the girls out hither and yon where they found nests, neighbors and other lives; but they never did (or do) lose track of one another. When Girlfriend and I started getting closer and closer, about a half a dozen of the Slut Sisters came to town to have a look at me. Word was that I was in for either a pleasant chat or an ass-whupping on a major scale. If I remember correctly, Girlfriend left the room while I was having my ‘chat’, which was an interview nonpareil; that I still have my hide intact is proof of me having the right answers, whew.
Okay, now that we’ve flogged that horse another mile, what have we learned?
Lesson one: Chose your friends like you do your wardrobe: durable, comfortable, reliable and able to adapt to weather changes.
Lesson two: it’s not a good thing if your friends don’t like or approve of your choice of a partner. Friends can be more objective and subjective at the same time and they see things that you don’t because your eyes are clouded by your ‘lover’s logic’ or a film of body fluids. Besides, you never want to say: “I should have listened to my friends”; that’s a bummer, you don’t want to go there.
Lesson three: be true, loyal and thankful concerning your friends, they are a reflection of you and who you are; and hopefully you’ll be proud of their choice in picking you to that exalted station. Friend. Be proud and thankful that they like the person that you are becoming.
P.S. Girlfriend is my friend.

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