A friend of a friend

There’s this friend of mine. Let’s call him “Alec”, and let’s assume that it’s not his real name. It’s just a random name, with no hidden meanings, no Latin roots, or witty anagrams baked in. It’s just code for this friend of mine.

“Alec” may or may not be Finnish, and he may or may not live in Finland. He could be 20, or he might be 45. Or neither. He’s not one of the Baldwin brothers. Who he is, is not the point.

Now, “Alec” is one of those outgoing guys, who never seem to get bored. He’s always got a project under way, he’s funny, he’s always the life of the party, and his colleagues seem to enjoy his company. That’s what he says, anyway.

His problem is this: He doesn’t have a best friend. There’s no George to his Jerry. No Garth to his Wayne.

The person he used to think about as his best friend first became “one of his best friends”, then “a good friend of his”, and has since been pushed down another notch to “an old friend of mine”, which, if you think about it, can be a sorry state of affairs, depending on the interpretation of the phrase.

In “Alec’s” case, it’s not good. For him, “an old friend” has the emphasis on “old”, and not referring to the friend’s age – because “Alec” may just be 20, what do we know, right? He means “old” as in “I love my old pair of jeans, but I’m not going to wear them ever again, but at the same time, I don’t want to throw them away, either, because I remember how cool I looked in them, and how grandma sewed that “A” patch on the thigh and all.”

Better keep those in the closet.

Of course, every once in a while, he takes them out, and gets a little sad and disappointed because they won’t fit anymore. But, he folds them up, puts them back in, and mutters, “someday, Jennifer, someday” to nobody in particular.

(“Jennifer” is not anybody “Alec” knows, the sentence is simply a line from “Back To The Future”.)

So Alec’s got several “good friends”. Theoretically, one of them has to be the best, right? So, technically, “Alec” has a best friend, he just doesn’t know it. Also, he’s gone through a few best friends over the years, depending on the availability of them, and his own situation.

Some of them have disappeared for a while, only to pop up again – when the time’s been right.

So I told him that he shouldn’t worry about it, that life wasn’t a romantic comedy or a buddy movie and that if he’s got over 150 friends on Facebook, he’s all set because the human brain can’t handle groups over 150 anyway.

He told me that he had more than that. And then he burst out laughing and singing and tap dancing right there on the street, outside the coffee shop we were at. And this is what he sang:

Seems to be he’ll be just fine.

How does that make you feel?