I've been in a deep funk for the last four months: At the end of August one of our cats (Prudence) died suddenly, then there was the 'election' and my ongoing (and increasing) dissatisfaction with my job. I just can't seem to pull it together, so I tend to do neurotic web-surfing late at night. Tonight, I tried to look up some old, old friends. In the process I stumbled across the alumni page for my highschool.
Most of my friends have not bothered to submit their current statii, but a few have and even include links to personal web pages. I looked up one fellow in particular. We weren't close friends, and I thought he was obnoxious (he was a rabid, proselytizing christian), but otherwise a good enough guy, and we ran in the same crowd (theater, madrigal chior, etc.). Reading his web log, however, I think I'd like him better now than I did then. I feel a bit better knowing that at least some of the people I fell in with (largely by happenstance) in highschool I might actually have chosen to hang with if I'd had the choice outright. I have often thought that our highschool friends (my highschool friends, at least) were together more by chance than design, more by default than by any similarity of thought or personality: I could stand to be wrong about that.
Maybe there's a mystery in that somewhere: are our friends drawn to us (or we to them) by who we are, or do we become who we are because of who we have for friends? For family we have no choice and much of who we are is, likely, imposed upon us by the luck of being born to certain parents, but friendship has, at least, the appearance of free will.
So much for melancholy ramblings. I never found any trace of the old, old friend I was looking for in the first place, but, at least, I feel a little better.