I remember when I was hooked on drugs. My friends tended to con me to get beer because I was the only one working and they screwed me over a little. But I screwed them over a little too.
But I just remember how great it was to have friends when I was in my studio on the 4th of July at night when I was about 27 and feeling alone and depressed and my friend knocked on the door with a bag full of firecrackers and we walked to the park and spent an hour lighting them off and having a good time.
Or when I was in this same studio and a friend (who happen to be a “normie”) knew I was broke and going hungry a lot of the time and he worked in a Japanese restaurant and one night he stopped by and brought me a garbage bag full of rice and a big bucket of teriyaki chicken. He just gave it to me for free.
And later when I got fired from my four year job he got me hired on at his restaurant. Then another friend had an opening at the restaurant where he worked as a waiter that paid more so I consulted my friend who brought me the rice and he understood and I quit and went to the other restaurant.
My third friend was a couple years younger than me and I really shouldn’t have been friends with him, he was cool and had way more status than me but we were pretty good friends. I took him to a party this girl at work threw and I was having a good time. But I didn’t dance and some people were dancing so I was standing there trying to look cool and the friend came over and told me, man, the girl who had the party was checking me out and one or two other girls were checking me out too but I was so worried about looking cool that I didn’t notice.
No friend I had in high school would ever have tried to help me or build me up or treat me as good as they did. And the guy who was the waiter did a few things like that too. My friends in high school would try to tear me down instead of build me up.
Later, the waiter turned on me and said some really bad things about me to my other friend behind my back. The friend told me what he said and he said the guy was talking about me like I was an animal. It shocked him and he said, “Nick, we try to con you into getting us beer sometimes but we don’t think of you like that, we respect you.” And he meant it.
So I never appreciated having friends more then in those days.
In 1990 I moved into a board & care home. I ended up living there 5 years and after about two years this guy moved in and we hit it off and became friends. He was ten years younger than me but we became good friends and he started attending AA meetings with me. He was another friend who tried to build me up. He said some nice things about me and I helped him too. So all these friends weren’t nice all the time but I accepted that