Tonight, I go on my fifth annual road trip with a few high school friends. The six of us
met in seventh and eighth grade making films. Now and for the past four years we’ve been going in separate places: different schools, different interests, different cities–even states.
Still, something has held us together, for the past eight years. Sometimes, that’s hard to believe.
Dunbar’s number dictates we can only keep track of around 150 beings at any given time. If they’re too distant, they don’t make the cut and blur behind a thin haze of anonymity.
During our lives, few people make the cut. Those who do so consistently become friends.
Friendship has the rare honor of being part of “the human condition,” the seemingly universal and timeless experience that defines what it means to be human. I don’t know if anyone has ever tried to outline our condition, but I imagine that friendship would be on the list somewhere.
Despite it’s prevalence, however, friendship remains a brittle obscure topic. As Thoreau opens in his essay Friendship, “Friendship is evanescent in every man’s experience, and remembered like neat lightening in past summers.” It takes place for all of us, sometimes for just a fragile collection of moments. Yet we can barely describe what makes it so essential.