A few days ago, I waited in the checkout line of a local market when a young lady passed through and recognized two people about her age.
The three all noticed each other about the same time and everyone in the immediate area graciously endured the “awkward for a public forum” magnified cackling of barnyard hens. The two standing together had obviously not seen their friend for a while and proceeded to exchange warm hugs prior to spending a brief moment to arrange a pending get together.
It wasn’t until the third young lady had walked away that things really began to unfold and a not so complimentary shadow was cast by the two friends left standing together. They began talking about their “friend” in such derogatory terms it made me wonder whether these were the same people. Those aren’t what I’d consider friends and, if the young lady who’d just left had heard, I think she would’ve reconsidered as well.
A part of me wanted to embark upon a search of the store to locate the young lady and disclose the truth about her “friends.” Rationale set in and I reasoned it better the issue simply be left to play itself out. After all, the worst thing would be me getting caught up in the middle of something about which I had no understanding. One of the most basic rules governing peace suggests the best business to handle is your own so I left the market and the situation behind.
By the time I’d driven the seven minutes home my mind had traveled a million miles around the thought of those who call me “friend.” Granted, there aren’t a large number of people with whom I freely associate to that degree. Short of casual contact with relatives, I’ve come to be more of a social recluse in recent years as a growing interest in writing continues to consume increasing amounts of my time, but that’s another story.