Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Automatic Friend

I remember various times being abroad and resenting “the automatic friend.” The automatic friend is a person who, for reason of origin or language, is just assumed to be your close buddy. For example, you are both Americans at a hostel in Sichuan. Or you both are native English speakers and find yourselves, separately/together, in Tical. Or, in extreme cases, you are just two white (black) faces on an unfriendly street in Ghana (Norway). In the best-case scenario it isn’t the automatic friend making the assumption you’re best pals, but everyone else, who abandons you to each other.

You two must have a lot to talk about! 

The imaginary friend is much better. And even better than the traditional “imaginary friend” who’s a companion to the lonely is the imaginary imaginary friend, who’s completely fictional and gets you out of awkward time with people you don’t want to be with, i.e. who delivers you back to your loneliness, or rather, your solitude. 

“I’m sorry I can’t come to the cocktail reception but my friend K. from Novosibirsk is coming through town and we'll be having cocktails in my apartment with the door locked!” 

1 comment:

Jessy Randall said...

I enjoyed the misreadings in a later post, and thought you might like to know that I misread this at first as "The Automatic Fiend." One of us, or both, should write a poem about an automatic fiend.

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