Searching for Male Friendship in a Lonely World

Last week, I went out with a pal of mine in Los Angeles. His fiancee had left to San Francisco, leaving him behind with their pets. We're really close, but not intimate. My reason for contacting him was the fact that there are times when I feel like I know his pets better than he does.

Since we're both from the area, we were able to meet for ramen just a short walk from our homes. After that, we headed to a beer store down the road that also happened to have a very sweet bar inside. Finally, we arrived at his apartment, where we toasted the season with Japanese whisky and carols. In addition to seeing the puppies, I shared a joint he had brought back from Mexico with him.

We also refrained from watching TV or playing video games. Even though we both adore intoxicating beverages, neither of us got intoxicated.

We just went for a stroll with the dogs and spoke for a bit. It was a night unlike any other in my memory, and I found myself wondering why.

In all the richness of my life, I knew there would be times when I didn't miss having a male partner. When I was growing up, I had just the right amount of money for a shy Texas kid to attend a private school. Because there were no sisters in the family, there were always games to play and people to make fun of. In the shadows cast by the street lamps, ours reverberated until it filled the space available.

Even in college, I never went hungry. The strength of male friendship is what made West Point what it is today. Spending four years putting in hard work with friends in order to be ready for battle. You either become close to guys rapidly upstate and near the Hudson, or you lag behind and grow starved.

But something occurred to me after that, and I'm still trying to figure it out. When I was in my forties and deep in the forest, I noticed something was missing. Excluding my immediate family, all the guys I knew were burned to a crisp. Of course, there were no fires as they disappeared. I gradually became aware that they were absent.

Many of the gentlemen I've seen in black suits at weddings seem dated. A friend often wondered "Whatever happened to that guy?" during reunions. Observing men's inability to pay attention troubled me. They weren't cold or distant, simply uncaring about preserving anything that may be lost.

They ignored my attempts at friendship over the course of several years. Despite my warnings, they continued to concentrate on making landfall. There were job changes and romantic endeavors throughout the conflict. They would become twisted up and entangled at times. To put it bluntly, I felt like the unwanted child of a broken marriage.

The significance of males to them is purely subconscious, as one of my professors said. Communication is put second. They can safely guide their own people to safety. For males, protecting their families is a top priority. Why put ourselves at danger of being rejected, or reliving the pain of rejection, if the fleeting bonds we formed as children will never truly protect us?

My dad finished the sentence by saying, "I experienced it, too." I'm all by myself. I need somebody to get back to me. As my friend and I drank our last drops of whiskey, I stated this to him. His father had survived war and was now a veteran, but he no longer fought.

After the dust settles in life, men need friends who will stand up for them, boost their spirits, and be there for them every step of the way. Without our companions, the world may be a harsh place. Brothers, please come out of the shadows and greet us.

Friends can't keep having to prove themselves at every turn. Simply said, we get it and we adore you for it. Present yourself as you are right now.

Men's friendships are inevitably neglected when responsibilities such as work and raising a family take precedence. We must experience the pain of separation while remembering that it is temporary. It's not too late to save the situation.

It's not too late to mend fences in a friendship. There are chances to meet new people, advocate for their rights, and become the trustworthy friend they need as they struggle to find their own place in the world.

Still, it's possible that this is another source of trouble. After all this time, are we making an excessive effort?

Maybe we may learn from the ladies and just be with one another. I have a feeling that would be beneficial to us. It would make us feel more at ease in our own strange, manly flesh and reduce the amount of heartache we have to endure.

As I sat there with Matt that night, I pondered how to improve my lifestyle and lengthen my life expectancy. As it happens, he's the cold-weather variety of keeper, and I informed him as such.

After midnight, when we walked the dogs while trying not to freeze to death, we said, "I love you." I got in my vehicle an hour later and wept the whole way home, where I ate tacos and went to sleep.

Friends are something I really miss having around. To be honest, I struggle to find my identity apart from them.

One day I want to find more, but until then I'll simply have to settle for being a decent one for now.

The people who find me first are the ones I am most appreciative of.

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