What happens to friends? Where do they disappear? We spend years with someone, we become bosom buddies, eat, drink, shit together, and feel such a bond that we can not imagine life without them. Then, one day, we realize that we are no longer in each others lives. It all happens very gradually and most of the time with no warning. We move away, find new friends, new interests, our circumstances change, we change, and instead of nourishing the friendship we simply choose to go our own separate ways.
At 15, my “blood brothers” and I started a secret society of warlocks. At 20, my comrades and I were fighting to change the world and ready to give our lives for each other. As I grew older, I had buddies with whom I collaborated on creative projects, partners I trusted with my life, friends I spent years with, on stage and off. Today, when I think of them, I realize that those of us who have stayed with each other, have done so because we have continued to work together.
Sartre said friendship develops when people act together. I think friendship takes a serious hit the moment friends stop working, creating and being productive together. Spending leisurely time with friends, drinking, playing cards or simply hanging out, might be a lot of fun, but it does very little to nourish the relationship. What sustains a friendship is the common goal that brings people together and offers a chance to stay active and join forces. Working together on any type of project gives a certain urgency and a sense of commitment to the friendship. Committing to a friendship and making an effort to refresh it every time it wanes is essential, but to keep a friendship fresh and healthy, one must constantly try to come up with a common objective, a joint energy that will give a chance to put petty differences aside and enjoy a sense of solidarity.