Today I Lost A Friend

What is friendship?

I don’t know how to write these thoughts. I don’t know how to write them because I do not know the answer to that question. You see, the truth of the matter is I don’t have many friends – not really. Not in the way that matters – that counts. On Facebook I have 665 ‘friends’. How many of these would go out of their way to help me – were I in need? How many of them would put themselves in harms way, if I were in danger? How many would feed my son – if I could not? A few perhaps – not many. And those out of obligation – maybe pity.

And for how many would I reciprocate? Probably fewer still – epic endeavors have no time for the mundane.

I write these things now because today I am losing a friend, and I am sad. Not losing in a dramatic sense, like a great fight or an unforgivable betrayal. Just the normal patterns of life that bring two people together for a season before the road forks and we wander off. The irony is that he didn’t know, I think, that we were friends. Colleagues maybe; happy-hour mates. That does not make this story less sad – but more so. Mine is a solitary profession; a solitary life. I move far away, then farther still until even the steadfast lose interest. Who can keep up with where I’ve been; and who can connect over so great a barrier?

Occasionally I return, and when I do the demons come with me. And they’re a nasty, smelly, overpowering lot that do not allow for the frivolity inherent in true friendship. The weight of their malevolence makes communion laborious – a chore. And what is friendship without communion?

Oh, I’m not complaining – not really. I chose to fight the evil, with the full knowledge when I did that it would come with so great a cost. I knew it would take me far away. I understood that it would demand everything. It had to – to drive away the darkness we must go where there is no light; where the paths are shadowed and where we most often walk alone.

It seemed worth it. Seemed something I could bear; at least when the decision was made. But that was a long time ago.

Back to my story; today I lose a friend. I will not even say goodbye; he doesn’t know the friendship is lost, for he did not understand what it was in the first place. This is no fault of his – life’s paths are unpredictable and we each have our own story; our own purpose. Our own demons. I wish him well – I mourn a little for a great amity that never was and I move on down the darkening path in search of my next great friendship; which also might never be.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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9 Responses to Today I Lost A Friend

  1. lucykeme says:

    I just dont understand what kind of communication you two had if he didn’t know he was your friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim B. says:

    Very moving. We don’t begin to realize the gift that another’s presence is to us, or ours to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you two were never friends if one of you has to guess, this is just a sad case of meeting a kindred spirit but not actually working on the friendship because friendships require constant maintenance.
    None of you did that, there is just a rant about demons and hectic lives but really its just a disguised excuse.
    There is nothing que sera sera about friendship, you cant just leave it to the wind you have to work on it but before all this you must ask yourself, how much does this matter to you?
    This kindred spirit you’ve met, how much do they matter?
    You clearly answered no because you didn’t even try, you were just contented with being happy hour friends. What did you expect?
    But this was a very beautiful and raw piece.
    Better luck next time.


  4. insightbyaudrey says:

    I understand this piece. I feel like I have had a few of these friendships myself. I think it was beautiful and truthful writing.


  5. m88vn says:

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a nice opinion, piece of writing is nice, thats why i have read
    it completely


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