a good friend - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
There was a time all you said was gold and your eyes were the rainbows in any storm, then the light faded and all that remained was the rain, each cold drop bringing my skin to ice. Yet in that storm, the memory of you became my stars, sometimes hidden by grim cloud, but always there. Perhaps it was your voice in the wind that took it from a cruel bite to merely cold, enabled my soul to survive in that frozen wasteland. They say survival adaptations are born of necessity; the hero born from ash, the phoenix who brings a burst of heat where there was none. Perhaps you weren’t the knight in my battle, but you were the ground and the whisper in the trees while I grew strong. You gave me the chance to learn how to speak gold and to hold rainbows in my own eyes, that’s quite a gift. So, should you want to come to me, to have company in your storm, to be held until the return of the sun, come. Come because I love you right to the essence of whatever I am.
It's been forever and many days since we last spoke; I'm sorry. In this time we have become new people, yet at our core we are truly the same. In all honesty, I need the asylum version of friendship more than I need air, water or food. I need to be sheltered and nurtured until my shattered soul has repaired enough to function and give love into the world. I love you either way, yet I am asking with my heart in your hands, if you will be the harbour in this storm that has come to my shores.
There was kindness in his smile, a gentleness. It was the smile of one who laughed with ease and saw person under the behaviour, a soul-connector. He was the kind of person who lived how he believed people should, as if he were sunshine that only radiated from the best aspects of those he met, their flaws entirely invisible to his gaze. He was a calm sea, dancing birdsong and the new buds of spring. Yet, most of all, he was my friend.
"Ben used to just tell me to 'shut up.' But you, with you it's like you tell my panic to shut up instead. I don't know how you do it, and I don't need to. That you can, and so effortlessly, is enough."
With anyone else I am a lioness, with you I'm a rabbit - the animal of my birth year. One look from you and the fight leaves my body. You see me for who I am inside, quell the inferno, transform it to passion for life and nature. With you my soul is at rest, contented. I love you like a brother, our spirits kindred, and I could no more abandon you than my own child.
Mac passed the hat over without taking his eyes off the TV, cheese puffs going in at a beat steady enough to impress any drummer. Matt took it, "You made this?" Mac kept on with the puffs, no sign of having heard. "Seriously, you made this? Soft man, I love it."
"It's just a bastard hat to put on your bastard silly head, now shut the fuck up, this is Oprah." Matt turned the gift over in his hands; the knit was perfection, cables and twists, all in his favourite greens and blues. Three seconds later his butt hit the chair and two hands hit the cheese puff bowl, four eyes on the screen.
You aren't simply a good friend, you have become part of my soul. When life became a storm you were the boat that kept the briny water from entering my lungs. You were love when I needed it and I thank you with all that I am. Yet this storm isn't over; the winds rage, seek to crush what they can never be. I have to know my own strength, test it, find truth and liberty, to realize that there is no prison that can hold me. Only then will I know that I am doing what I choose to do, that my own love is a choice, a gift to give. It is time, my friend, for me to walk alone as I always knew I must; yet a part of my light stays with you, as part of yours leaves with me, for we are kindred as I told you, twin souls. I will return, and sooner than you fear, with new strength to my legs, to my bones, strong enough to carry you. Heaven and prison can't be the same thing, my love, and we'll keep on looking, together.
In this storm, in this wind that howls, you are the gentle centre. And so I come to rest at your side. I see the watchers that disapprove and the judgement they feel so entitled to. I wonder what they would have me do? Lift the world in one arm? Push back the tide with only my mind? Because what they expect is equally impossible. Every person needs a harbour, a secure attachment of love - for without one we are in such pain, so lost, shutting down. Then life becomes a torture we are expected to endure, surviving, not living. Were it not for you, my good friend, there would be no relief, no emotional morphine. You are my hero and my heroin. Of course I am addicted to you - but for every reason that is pure and right. You are safety and love, an anchor I hold onto, that I tether myself to because I want to. So for those watchers who have plenty, who have never felt the brutal sting of abuse, the kind that shatters all emotional bonds, take your opinions and bury them in tar. For "freedom" to make all new friends and family is just another abuse, it is akin to the freedom to wonder a desert with no water. It is a sentence of pain - loneliness is pain. "Tough love" is abuse.
My friend, you never did that, always giving warmth, consistent love and patience. That is why I love you so, why my nature trusted you before my mind could too. In time I will heal because affection is real help. You are irreverent, funny, real as hell and perfect with your idiosyncrasies. I am bound and free, flying and grounded, laughing and sober. Perhaps it is you that performs the miracles.
You say I know you, but doubt I can love you, as if I have become attached to a mirage; perhaps you think yourself unworthy somehow. You call me a close friend, yet in your logic perhaps you are close to the idea of me instead, doesn't work, does it? You call yourself ordinary, but am I not the same? Regardless, we swore an oath of sorts, to be there for one another as long as we live, to always be okay with one another - no judgement, unconditional acceptance. That I can promise you, the rest... time will tell, my love, time will tell. The river flows, the seasons move on and time is promised to no-one.
When my body felt like a cage you unlocked me with only words, opened a door I didn't know was there. You took out the pain and made it bearable by still seeing the person I truly am. No matter what, you stood firm, reassuring, kind. And for that reason alone I am a bird in the sky, able to sing once more.
I have all the bad habits Todd worked seven years to loose. I eat the crap, drink the alcohol and treat women like they have an expiry date. He was just like that when we were eighteen. It was a lot of fun. We got drunk, arrested and arrested while drunk. We chatted up the girls and cooked up get-rich-quick schemes. Bit by bit he changed though. It started with exercise and finished with proposing to Kim. Now he's all set to be the responsible husband, the bread winner. I'm like a permanent case of the flu to him and he knows he's only two personal disasters away from catching it again. I tried to cut him out for his own good, let him have the picket fence life he needs. But apparently that's not an option. Last fall I lost my job again, he paid my rent and put in a good word to get me in at the docks. It's good money. So now whatever happens it looks like I'm gonna be “Uncle Frank” to Todd's kids, I guess I'll just have to try not to be too bad of an example.
Olivia stands at the counter waiting for the cashier, turning to chat to Ella. "See, my hands have paint all over them!" She turns her hand in the light.
"Oh, it's a baby blue, nice."
Olivia smiles yet gives her head a slight shake. "Oh no, it's just my jacket that makes it look blue, it's actually grey. The whole house is many shades of grey."
Ella grins, "Fifty?"
Olivia almost laughs as she scans to see if the cashier is coming. "No, nothing like that going on in our house right now." She turns to Ella, bottom lip out in a transitory mock pout.
Ella raises her eyebrows in mock surprise, "Are you telling me I have more shades of grey even with Greg's injury?"
Olivia rolls her eyes, her grin widening. "Yup, 'fraid so." Then turning to the cashier Olivia says, "Large mocha and a decaf."
Back to Marsha. She smiles like she’s at ease, that big wide grin that makes her so beautiful and she says, “OK, Darlin,’ call me if you need anything, and I mean it. Day or night. Never too busy for you.” Now I know she’s worried, normally she talks about her life non-stop and I never tell her much about mine. I don’t mind that at all, I love it really. Her life is interesting, glamorous at times. Mine? Pretty static, but that’s what I need. We’re all different, right? I need home and “boring,” she needs sparks, fire, hot energy. But when it comes to our souls we’re aligned in ways I’m not sure either of us understand. We’re such an unlikely pair, me and her, but it works. My smile mirrors hers, to the street at large we’re two friends smiling but we both know what just happened. I’ll see her in a few weeks I guess, time usually heals these little rifts pretty well.
“Love you too. Don’t work too hard.” She leaves, windows rolled down, radio on loud. Her car pulls away fast, as always. She doesn’t really notice speed limits that one, but she has a clean driving record so who am I to judge? She looks after her three girls like they’re princesses for the most part, albeit princesses that have to pull their weight around the house and not back-talk. They know they’re loved though. Anyway, now it’s just back to you and me.
“Maybe I should stay, Dai. I mean, um, let’s talk about your new ‘friend,’ shall we?” Now my back’s up. I know she’s a psyc nurse but I can see her pulling the professional side of her out of the closet. She’s known me fifteen years and I insist she puts her ‘stethoscope’ behaviour away or no dice. She’s not coming in today. Anyway, you and I have a walk to go to, right?
“No, Marsha. You know me, always the creative type. I have to sink myself into these roles you know, whether it’s love, hate or betrayal, I have to be six inches under when I write it.” Her face muscles sink a bit, she’s crestfallen. She likes to rescue people, I know she does, she’s good at it too. But all her department has to offer is the removal of all your clothes in front of a half dozen people of both genders and an injection in your ass. Lucky for me I’m not crazy. I’m perfectly lucid, I can write, I can do algebra (if I want to), I can debate and talk finance. If wanting to save the world makes me crazy then I don’t want to be “sane.” You can keep it. I am fully able to lie to protect myself and those I love, there’s no guilt in that.
“Are you trying to save the world again, Dai?” She has her serious nurse look on again, I know she’s shooting for ‘concerned friend’ but she’s been in the business too long not to wear it when she’s having these thoughts. So in as much as she thinks she’s ‘reading’ me, I’m reading her. After five years of having ‘check-ups’ the psychiatrists have declared me psychosis free, sane. So they can stick their rooms with iron doors and no handles where the sun doesn't shine. They can keep all their pills from big Pharma, except maybe the odd sleeping pill. My mind does blow a bit hot sometimes and I'm more than partial to a solid eight hours sleep.
When the pressure of my day is inside me, not like a tangled knot but like a ticking bomb, I need to let it explode somewhere safe. I need to go somewhere it can't do lasting damage - and that's why I have Casey. That's why he has me. When I need to vent I call him up and he knows what's coming. It isn't an exchange, well, not in the same session. I get to yell my fuckin' lungs out and be a vengeful, crass, arse-hole of fury and he sips his beer and nods in the right places. Only when I pick up my pint does he ask me if I'm ready for his perspective and if I am I'll keep drinking, otherwise the shouting starts again. His job is to tell me how he thinks the other side likely felt in my stories, what fears and insecurities may have motivated them, tone me down rather than egg me on. Then I can go back home and talk things through. Sometimes Casey is right, sometimes he's way off, but I can't talk to my wife when I need to explode, she doesn't deserve that. Casey's just the same, he calls me, I go. He vents, I listen. Maybe that's why I'm still happily married and Casey is too. I don't know, it works for us. We don't gossip, no-one knows his secrets or mine. We love our wives, our kids, I dunno, sometimes just getting that rage our is the best thing I can do. It probably comes mostly from work anyway, but I can't go yellin' at the boss now can I?
Tom was there before the business took off, meeting me for coffee and chats. He was there when my wife was hospitalized, taking the kids to his house as may times as necessary. Not once did he ask for money, not even for groceries. He took them with a smile and handed them back happy and fed. During the fat years I could rely on him to tell me if I was being an idiot, lazy or complacent. Then his daughter's kidney's failed and it was our turn to be the rocks. We've seen each other cry, we've seen the very foundations be kicked out from one another, and we are still men in each other's eyes, still “brothers.” There is no friend I would walk into battle besides so willingly, but Tom's fights are mine and vice versa. One day we'll be old men on a bench supping latte and eating scones, before tottering with walking canes through Central Park.
In this life, my good friend, you aren't the fountains in the park or the fireworks on the fourth of July. You aren't a fine wine or an aged cheese. You are fresh air and clean water, you are rich soil for the harvest and the sweet spring rain. You are all the things we don't know we need or love so dearly, until they are gone. So now that we swim in the tidewater of our sixth decades, it's time to tell you what you mean to me, what you mean to all those lives you have touched. No-one can change the world in a single stroke, my love, but with each kind deed you made all the difference in the world and I feel blessed to know you.
Claire lay sank into the couch, finally it was Thursday, she could spend all day with Natalie: chatting, venting, laughing. The house was a mess and it didn't matter, she could do it after lunch. Together they would sort laundry, clean and prepare dinner until the kids came home. For several sweet hours she didn't have to hide behind a mask, not of happiness, not of coping, she could be honest and get heart felt advice. It was the release valve they both needed and though they bore no relation they regarded one another as sisters.
Travis had spent the house downpayment again. As he pulled up in a shiny new hotrod his fiance began to cry, her rounded belly shaking, tears falling freely. Terry had been waiting for him, for the “boy's night out.” He saw Kirsty start to crumple and raced to the porch just in time to see his best-bud since pre-K swagger from the orange vehicle with a double black stripe. “Ain't she pretty! Ain't she everything we every dreamed of as kids?”
Terry sucked in his breath and with a brief pat to Kirsty's shoulder he approached his friend. “You arse, you absolute arse. What the fuck man. You have a beautiful bride and a baby due, and do this?! I do not know you, man. I do not.”
Travis wore a face like he'd been hit by a frying pan and he took a step backwards. “Whoah, man. What's eating you?”
“You, Travis. You are. That money was your ticket to putting a decent roof over your kid's head. You're going to take the car back right now and I'm coming with you. Damn you. Grow the fuck up."
I was often over your house when we were kids. It was a place to hide and you knew it, but not once was I ever made to feel unwelcome or hurried out the door. It was a safe haven when the storm invaded my own home, my own space. School was hell every day and home just rocked back and forth between comfort and harmful. Without you, without the love you gave in that understated way, without the gentleness of your personality, I don't know what would have happened. I was never stable, not really, shifting from one place to another in my adult years, but always there was you. Sometimes I ignored you for months, lost in some new crusade, but never once were you mad when I remembered you again. Always easy with honest advice, but carefully phrased not to cause harm. You've never just been a good friend to me, you've been one of the rocks of my life - an anchor point. I live an ocean away, but if you ever need me I'll be there in mind, boy and soul. Just call.
When Dad went to jail it was the end of our easy life in the village. Mom was isolated completely and the school was a cesspool of gossip. Apparently it wasn't enough for us to loose someone we love and for him to be confined to a cell two hundred miles away, they had to punish us too. They rushed away from us like ocean tide before a tsunami, holding their breath in collective horror and enjoying it more than television at the same time. Everyone except Jimmy, my best friend since pre-K. He told his Mom to stick it and cycled round to my place several times a week. He sat next to me in class and never once mentioned the shit storm he was taking for staying with me. Not one word of complaint, ever.
I'd always had so many friends - popular without trying. I guess that makes me lucky. Then in my grade ten year my kidneys failed almost completely. I was out of school, medicated up to the eyeballs. The steroids puffed me right out and even getting out of bed was hard. After one obligatory visit I never heard from my "best friends" again. But thank God for Julie; Julie the quiet girl I was nice to but never really included on purpose. She sent me cool videos to watch and came over twice a week. She'd bring her mother's baking and we'd laugh about the stupid things people said on Facebook. She was my lifeline. When I returned I was a full year behind the others, they said "Hi" and asked how I was doing now. I should have seen them for what they were, naturally self-centred teens, but I didn't. I hated every one of them. I wanted them to get sick like I'd been. I wanted them to know what it was like to be isolated and scared. But I smiled sweetly and played along. I have Julie.
Gregory picked me up at the airport upon my first arrival in Calgary, the booming city surrounded by rich farmland with skyscrapers building up in the downtown core. These past few weeks and months we've played badminton together and it's been a lot of fun. I don't feel lonely here. He's given me a lot of good advice on life and being a man with dignity - one who cares for others. That first day he welcomed me to his well decorated condo with a sizzling hot pot meal. Since then Gregory has taught me the traditional etiquette of serving and drinking Chinese tea and making noodles and I've shared my special beef steak with him. With him in the city, the moments are more exciting. It feels as though I've entered a maze, yet God came down and gave me every clues I need, thank you for all your help. I feel happy and thankful to the wonderful times we had - our moments of laughing, sharing and communicating were both igniting and amusing. To me, life is not dull anymore with Gregory around.
You are one of the only persons I don't despise. You are always worrying about your friends; you are selfless.
You are beautiful. Your laugh and your quirks are cute even though you hate that word.
You are the light that guides me through the darkness in which I've been these past years.
You are, in a way, the same as me, but different. Meeting you is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
You are always honest honest even if it ends up being brutal. I don't have to lie or pretend when I'm around you; you give me a safe haven from the masks that I've been wearing my whole life.
You are something that I never realized I needed until you were in my life.
You are a sunset in the coldness of October, yet you are warm.
You are the music that gets me through the hard times, like the North Star of a pilgrim in exile.
You are you.
Katherine could sure throw punches, but she couldn't take them. It annoyed the heck out of all of us, but when she started fights she couldn't finish we had to back her up. That's what friend are for, right?