All My Friends Are Strange: One

My wife pointed out to me that I don’t have any friends that are not strange in some way. It causes me to look at myself, because if I like them even though they’re nuts, maybe they like me because I’m nuts. I know I’m not typical nor do I live an average kind of life, but I think I have the “nuts” part of myself under control and properly directed. I’m much too productive to be totally nuts.

First, there was Harold. It’s difficult to know just what’s wrong with him, but if one watches for it, one can tell that he’s on a rusty track. He is often out of work, because no sooner does he acquire a job, than he starts telling the boss that his business is doing everything wrong, and he, Harold, can straighten it all out. Although Harold is very intelligent, he just can’t inter-act with anyone, including women. When he’s out of work, it’s because of the interference of others. The Asians are to blame. It’s the blacks. It’s the Italian immigrants, or the Estonians. It’s because of them.

When he was a boy, Harold could not abide anyone having a preference other than the one he prefers. I remember a time when Michael from down the street was wearing a Detroit Red Wings shirt. Harold freaked out. We had all been friends for years, grown up together, but Harold said he was through with Michael. It was obvious that the Toronto Maple Leafs was the team to adore, and Michael’s preference for the Red Wings deemed him unworthy of Harold’s friendship.

The crises over the hockey teams passed, and several years more passed. We were all into sports cars and sports car racing, and most of us participated. On the fringes of our group was a girl, a woman, really. She was a bit older than we were, and she had a 12 year old daughter. She liked race car drivers, and slept with some of them sometimes. Eventually, Michael, who was about 10 years younger than the woman – I think her name was Christie – announced that he was going to marry Christie and adopt her child. Harold freaked out again, and that was it for Michael forever as far as Harold was concerned. Poor Christie came to me and asked if I would attend the wedding, and I told her I would, of course.

Harold was very good looking, and was a wonderful storyteller. Women were attracted to him, but he did not respond. He was not gay, he just could not deal with an emotional situation. He liked sex, and he liked prostitutes. Good sex (he thought) and no involvement. It takes all kinds, and my kind of friends are kind of nuts.

I will write about another crazy friend, and another, and another, sometime soon.


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