But if love, for Proust, is a function of man's sadness, friendship is a function of his cowardice; and if neither can be realized because of the impenetrability (isolation) of all this is not "cosa mentale," at least the failure to possess may have all the nobility of that which is tragic, whereas to communicate where no communication is possible is merely simian vulgarity, or horribly comic, like the madness that holds a conversation with furniture. Friendship, according to Proust, is the negation of that irremediable solitude to which every human being is condemned. Friendship implies an almost piteous acceptance of face values.(from prompt #32 in The 3AM Epiphany)
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"Walking Man takes his licks" by katmere
On his 30th birthday, Chris woke up late in his bedroom. His black out blinds kept his room in his preferred cave-like state, and so when he emerged he always acted a bit like a bear. Territorially, he lumbered into the kitchen—his kitchen, but also the kitchen of his three other roommates—and pawed through the cupboards looking for cereal. Someone ate his cereal. On his goddamn birthday, when all he wanted was a goddamn bowl of Cheerios.
On his best friend’s 30th birthday, Luke woke up early in his bedroom. His room had a door that led to the yard, and he left the door open during warm evenings so that his dog could wander out, and so ladies could wander in. Or out. He took his dog out for a walk, showered, and helped himself to some Cheerios.
Chris knew, for months, that his 30th birthday would be the worst day of his life. He knew because months ago he’d received an invitation to attend the wedding of the only girl he’d ever wanted to marry. The man whose name was engraved above hers was a wealthy orthodontist, and Chris’ teeth were fucked up and made him self-conscious about smiling. They were getting married on his birthday, and he did not have a date. There was a girl he wouldn’t mind taking, and she was, of course, Luke’s date. Chris was assured he would have a good time, which only made him more sure that he would not.
Luke knew that weddings suck, most of the time, so he was going for the free booze and for Chris. Luke didn’t have a really firm grasp on it all, but Chris had stared at the invitation, hung on the fridge with a Domino’s magnet, every single night for a significant amount of time. Chris had also been ordering pizza a lot more, but even Luke could see that as a symptom, not a cause. So for whatever reason, Luke canceled the surprise party he’d planned—a couple of guys from college could fly out, and they could go to the strip club and the Indian casino—and dry-cleaned his suit. Clearly it meant something to Chris, and it might be kinda lame but Luke was guaranteed to get laid, at least.
Standing in front of the mirror in his bedroom, Chris tried to hold his back straight. At least this evening, he didn’t want to slouch. He heard a girl giggle in Luke’s room, and he swallowed a mouthful of air as he walked out to the front porch. They had a cab waiting, and as Luke and their adorable neighbor, in a backless dress and kitten heels, joined him outside, Chris had a sudden urge to lay down under the back tires and feel his skull crushed by the weight of 30 years of life. Instead, he stood up straight, let out a low whistle of appreciation for the backless dress and kitten heels, and slapped his best friend’s shoulder to signal that he was ready to go.