You know what’s awkward? When you essentially spend an entire day with someone well into 2 am, you take their number, never call and then run into them again in public. You know what’s even more awkward? When it’s a guy. So yeah…context. You go out to a happy hour with someone, they get a text from someone and they split. It’s still kinda early so you just finish your drink. You meet a girl, y’all vibing and all that and she’s there with her homegirl who is talking up some other dude. You don’t know him from a hole in a wall, but the black man synergy takes over and suddenly y’all setting each other up for plays like Kyrie and LeBron.
Fast forward to now, out of the 3 of them, it was me and him actually stayed in touch. (damn I don’t even remember her name) We’ll go out kick it and I’m the friend who is probably bailing early. Issa circle. A circle of life. Even so, it’s more of a “shoulder to shoulder” type of deal, in that it’s more of an escort than a friend. It’s more “where the wave at”, “niggas finna go hoop”, “you tryna match?” (I don’t partake in cannabis consumption, is that what the cool kids still say?), “you fucking with this party?”. It’s very loose and non committal, I might see you there, I might not and there isn’t much expectation to do so. Even childhood friends I can’t remember the last time I just went to, see them, and enjoy their company. It’s like in this one episode of Family Guy, Peter calls Quagmire just to talk and he’s like…um…wtf is this about? That’s most male friendships in a nutshell
With the exception of your family and your day ones, I would say male friendships are either accessible, advisory or ancillary (yes I only used ancillary for the alliteration). Accessible is the convenient friend. It’s your neighbor, your coworker, your classmate. You see them every day so you #minuswhale talk to them. Especially when you worked in retail, you needed those people to vent to, (cover shifts) and get you through this minimum wage hell. Then, you graduate get a full time job and never speak to them again. I’ve been out of school for 5 years, and outside of special occasions we just don’t kick it like that. It’s all love when I see them but there’s just not much effort to see them. I’m sure it’s different for Greeks (but I ain’t buy friends…. kidding, kidding).
Then there’s the healthiest of male friend ships, Advisory. Mentors, father figures, OGs…want to make an old black man light up, ask to pick his brain. As a mentee, you can be vulnerable, unsure, even a bit thirsty in a way that doesn’t appear weak, but rather hungry. Old heads lived it already, learned from their mistakes and can pass it on as a reliable source whereas your man’s from college even if he’s right it’s like…*piano notes*…. OK. Mentors are kind of the cheat code to what a healthy male friendship should be. A “face to face” friendship, except it’s not considered a friendship, maybe that’s why it works.
Then to bring it full circle there’s ancillary; the friend who exists because you can’t do everything alone. The workout buddy, the drinking buddy, not much unlike the coworker or the neighbor, they’re conditional friendships. Like “Kyrie” is cool, but I’m probably never going to his house nor he mine unless there’s a cookout. I might buy a round but don’t ask me for bread for real for real. You need ancillary friends because there’s no tinder for a straight man to find another straight man to grab beers with. (adds that to list of billion dollar ideas I should put into motion one day)
Saying that out loud, sounds cruel tho. Like why even bother? Men don’t have close friends while being fully cognizant of the fact that they might be shitty friends. Friends are empathetic, affectionate, needy…all traits men apply to women. It’s as if to be a good friend you have to be feminine and you know men don’t play that. That includes myself, I’ve written before how I’m “wow, that’s crazy” guy not necessarily invested in their growth because that’s “her job” . I saw a tweet the other day that said men going to brunch together is gay, of course alcoholic orange juice and omelets won’t make me desire a man; but me and my niggas aren’t bout to grab brunch without women present. (Unless it’s Vegas. That’s the exception.)
Studies show men with friends are healthier live longer so maybe we all need to make new friends and keep the old. Check in on folks, go out more, learn how to golf and all that good stuff. Or maybe I should get to work on that app.