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The Bastard Chronicles: Self- Love or Fuck Your Friends

“See a butterfly

Up in the sky

I got a story to say

And I'll tell you why

I'm searchin'


You see, my friend

I need someone

Who feels and needs

The same as I

I'm searchin' Roy Ayers


The brother Roy is a genius. More so than looking, I’ve spent a great deal of

my life searching. That means that I am prone to overthink anything down to

the sub-atomic particles of its creation. And for a while, I thought it to be

problematic. I am often told, “It just ain’t that deep,” when really, it’s never that

shallow. So, I embrace my searching. I honor the wisdom of Baba Ayers.

Which leads me down my newest rabbit hole.

In the words of Johnny Taylor, “I’m looking for a love.” I’m looking in that

theoretical sense that makes practical sense. That love that can transform a

current affair with its deeper understanding of the universal connect-the-dots

that creates a pretty and dynamic picture. And one day while shooting the shit,

a hypothesis came to me. This post shall serves as my scientific method to

test out this theory. I wrote a post about it. Wanna hear it? Here it go!!!


I think we got the "Friend Zone" all the way fucked up. It might be the

relationship mana from heaven that we’ve been applying incorrectly. Which is

odd, because why would one starving in the desert be so cavalier with the

nourishment that falls from the sky in front of their blistering, weary feet?

#firstworldproblems




Let’s unpack what I’m thinking. The Friend Zone as a meme and a passive

aggressive movement is a bastardization (see what I did there?) of what

friendship should truly mean. Friendship is not lurking, it is not grooming. It is

not giving of self solely for the sake of reaping later and unspecified returns.

It’s just friendship. You know, 3rd grade: somebody shares their snacks or y’all

wear the same shoes and suddenly you’re bosom buddies. Or in some cases,

y’all actually hate each other until some miraculous moment arises where you

both have to call upon the skills of the other to survive. You know, like when

the 6th graders wage war on the 3rd graders. (I watched the show Recess with

my little brother and sister in the 90’s.) Feeling nostalgic.

And what’s so dope about friendship is that it comes fairly natural. It crosses

all lines. Kids with cars ride through the “part-ments” to swoop the homie so

everyone can have fun. Girls share make up and do each other’s hair. It’s

such a free and open expression. And yes; some friendships inevitably end,

but those wind up being friendships of convenience… or someone moves

away, but most end fairly peacefully.

Of course, nothing is perfect. There definitely are those who wear friend

clothes with an enemy heart. But guess what? It’s usually your real friends

that help smoke said snake outta the grass.

So, what am I saying?

Maybe relationships really should be like friendships. And, I know, married

couples have said they felt as though they were marrying their best friend

when they took their vows.


That’s what they’ve said. But if divorce rate is

above (or near) 50%, some of that must be capp. So, let’s rewind. Let’s compare.


You know what we do with friends? Really close friends? We are our fucking

selves. We are imperfect. We are weak. We acknowledge our areas of growth

with a chuckle and another shot or another pull. We know we’re going to work

on it, primarily because our friend ain’t gonna let us sink too deeply into

delusion and self-deprecating rhetoric. Our friend is also going to chuckle,

take another shot, and take another shot. It is what it is.

For those having friends of the orientation that we might like to orient

ourselves, we often do the same thing. Hallmark didn’t create a whole friend-

turned-lover genre because they were just so great at programming. For

shame! Much like their other tropes, it’s based on some real grain of reality.

The fantasy is fed by the reality.

And it makes sense if you take a moment to ponder. To continue the Hallmark

allusion, the two friends are so busy with work and spending quality time with

each other that they don’t see how it appears from the outside. But their other

friends do. And they constantly make sly comments about anything they do.

Their friendship is so cute. They’re so perfect together. But they continue to

say that they’re just friends. Through their tumultuous relationships, they are

the rock for each other. They dry the cliché tears. Then, bam! Somebody is

about to get married and the other realizes how much they REALLY love the

other one. Cue some airport or train station montage and voila: Happily, Ever

After!!!



I’m not suggesting you base your life on Lifetime or the Hallmark channel. But

I’ll also say that truth can be found in the wildest of places. If you know where

to look and how to look.

But the key take away: they were vulnerable with each other. The womanizer

was honest to at least one woman. The closed, business-minded woman

overly concerned with her career made time for at least one man. All the time.

And by the time that happily ever after began, there isn’t a multi-layered

disrobing where they FINALLY get to each other’s truth. They know the exes.

They know the proclivities to which the other is prone. Prolly the only thing to

be discovered is sexual chemistry. Yet, I might suggest that a bond that

intimate and true must foster AT LEAST the possibility of hot, passionate sex.

And the best part? They actually like the person afterwards. They might play

2K. Or watch a Hallmark movie.


So, don’t be a creep. Don’t offer friendship to try to curry favor and pimp that

into love. I’m definitely not encouraging you to size up your friends and figure

out which one will be the best lover. But what I am saying is think of how free

you are with your friend as you pursue your lover.

Furthermore, we think we put on to impress others. Actually, we put on to

impress ourselves. But we project that put-on as what others might expect.

And then they do, because we’ve said it is us. How dope would it be if we

were to accept that maybe it isn’t. Maybe all the multiple garments with which

we adorn ourselves prevent our truer selves from shining through to our lovers

and ourselves. Because when we must take them off; and we will, by choice

or by (universal) force, we’re all left butt-naked and afraid.

On “Pretty and Afraid,” Jidenna croons, “All I want is the way you look at

others to be like the way you look at me.” That shit touched my soul. I have

recently realized the reason it wasn’t happening for me is because I wasn’t

even looking at myself the way I looked at others. And I could not see the way

others looked at me. So, I’ve been successively stripping layers of cool. And

while I won’t be donning vulnerability with every outfit, I’m more comfortable

with it sitting nicely on my lapel. I deserve it. So, do you.

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