Most friends - aren't.
Hell, acquaintances are better than halfway friends. With acquaintances, at least everyone is real about where you're at.
A lot of our camp are people who were on their way very much up in the world before the financial crash hit, but we were all a little unstable and shaky since we don't have decades of experience yet.
Many of us got broken down. Some scraped by and kept moving. But all the young businessmen I know went down in the world.
And like, when you live a couple blocks off Newbury Street with nice art and nice furniture and some swords and a fireplace, it's really easy to make "friends."
There were these guys I hung out with, they always got tables at nightclubs. They imported diamonds or something. I was always invited when they were out, since I usually came out myself, introduced girls to them, didn't drink liquor (so I'd just have a juice or club soda), and left after half an hour or an hour.
But y'know, that whole charade was contingent upon "ballin'" - or whatever you'd call it.
Everyone was doing okay, this was '07 or so. Then, I don't know, a couple people go down in the world, and nobody's around.
A couple people are around, but even then.
But nah, I think of a few people. Like Bren Bobzin, Yifei Zhang, Judd Weiss, guys who you could be all busted down and they'd still be interested in chatting about philosophy or business or history, or doing martial arts in the park.
You know, you don't need money to go fight in the park. It's basically free. I mean, you got to buy some Tylenol afterwards maybe. But that's cheap.
You know, you don't need money to talk about philosophy. Maybe you got to buy some books. But books are cheap.
Hell, you don't even need money to talk about money. Fuck, I hate money these days. I used to worship it, now I despise it and just want to do cool things. (Paradoxically, the getting of money seems to be easier when you despise the stuff. I keep meaning to write about this at some point.) But yeah, you could talk about money in a cheap shitty diner, in fact, that's what we used to do. Or over Greek food, or at a poolhall.
That's what you need, the real stuff, not the "trappings of success."
You know what "the trappings" are?
It's not just bullshit.
It's worse than that.
Needing "trappings of success" around means it's your surface persona interacting with someone else's surface persona.
It's like, the dude you want to pretend you are interacting with the dude they want to pretend they are.
And those people aren't going to be around when things get hairy.
It's hard, really hard, to think about what really matters to you, open up about that, interact on that level. And maybe go get into some fistfights together when some punks are trying to pick on someone weak, or otherwise just do some crazy shit together.
But heck, it's not even the crazy shit. It's being real, it's owning the good and bad, the hopes and fears. Fuck money and nice things. If someone doesn't want to go fight in the park or sit at a greasy cheap diner talking about whatever, then they're useless and can't be counted on. But true friends, true friends where you truly open up about what truly matters, even though it hurts? That's priceless. Worth more than strong enemies, even.
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