That’s what friends are forpublished: 2009-11-13
That’s what friends are for, sings the loudspeaker to me. I have escaped the blasting, wintery wind outside. I had intended to take a long walk on the beach. But the wind easily convinced me otherwise. A coffee instead. I am the only person in that restaurant and indulge in the luxury: I chose to sit by the fire. Then came that song.
For my 18’th birthday, my two best friends and boyfriend at the time made me a video. It was pretty high-tech considering we were a bunch of school kids who had only dad’s vhs camera at our disposal. They had thought about the editing. There was even a scene where a few cardboard hearts merged to form one. The song they were singing was “that’s what friends are for.” It spread out over several of my favourite locations. At one stage, they secretly filmed me as my boyfriend picked me up to go somewhere. That was the scene: me stepping out of an Opel. Nervous giggles interrupted their singing from behind a shrub.
The climatic scene consisted of them hanging out of a horse carriage with hats on. The one best friend wore a film noire hat, the other a romantic floppy hat. My boyfriend wore a leather cowboy hat from South America. It was too small for his head so they had geekily tied it under his chin.
There wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that everything they sang about friendship rang true. I had an unwavering belief in us, that little foursome of people, that family.
Twenty years later. I no longer see either of the two best friends. Not by conscious design, it simply happened that way. My boyfriend was the first of the bunch to get married and have a few kids.
That’s what friends are for. I sit here, by the fire, and could cry if I allowed myself to. But I don’t. I get up, pay for my coffee and head back to work.