Friendship: An Instructional Tale for Hipsters

by Spencer

My friend told me this story once.

He was at a party a few years ago, just before he finally left the city.

Someone approached him and called him by name, clasped his hand, and smiled warmly. It's so good to see you! the man said. What have you been up to? It's been such a long time!

My friend did not describe his reaction to me, but I try to imagine it. There was perhaps some mixture of amusement and aloofness when he replied, I'm sorry, but you must be mistaken.

No, no, it's you! the man exclaimed. Remember the time we did this, and that, with those people? It was at that place, remember?

My friend replied, Yes, I do remember some of those people, as well as several of those things. But I do not remember you.

But, surely, you must! Whenever I saw you, we always spoke of this and that, the man interjected, not willing to admit the situation.

After looking pensive for a bit, my friend finally replied. I am very sorry, he said, but it seems that you have mistaken me. You see, back then, I was an influential man and many people wanted to know me, and I found it to be to my benefit to know them, as well. But there was also another group of people whom I knew, and this group contained my friends. There has simply been a misunderstanding. Although you apparently belonged to the former grouping, you had confused yourself for membership in the latter. I apologize if this has been the source of some distress to you, but I assure you that it has been through no fault of mine.

And with that, my friend took his leave.