I made a friend last year. If you think I'm being overly dramatic by writing that here - "surely everyone makes friends all the time" kind of thinking - "it's nothing unusual, why's he mentioning it".
Well I don't. I can't really say I've made a friend in years. I go to work every day and have acceptable, well-functioning relationship with colleagues. I do all the socially required side of working - and no, I'm not an anti-social person who does all this purely to make it look good. When I ask how they are, how things are, etc, I'm not just trying to appear normal - I have an amount of concern.
But would I ring any of these people up to go for a beer? No. Not really.
That is until one guy started at the company last autumn (replace with "fall" if American).
I'm not going to mention his name as this is a blog I maintain under my writing pseudonym for deliberate anonymity reasons. But, suffice it to say, I found someone I could consider a friend.
Only thing is he's not someone you would call the healthiest of folk. He has an uncurable disease that could flare up any time and can be life-threatening.
And since going out for a beer (or diet coke for me being teetotal) with him over the Christmas break I have not seen or heard from him. He's not been in work since - his wife having phoned in that he was sick last week.
Now - here's my thought.
After years of not making friends I believed I was happy with things the way they were, I find things have changed. After all I have my wife and I enjoy spending as much time with her as possible. I have my writing - even if it drives me to distraction when rejection after rejection arrives. I get my social interaction in the office, or in the various book stores I frequently visit.
I thought it was enough for me. But I was wrong. I'm like everyone else. Friendship is important to me. So I'm hoping that nothing serious has happened.