Make and keep the type of friends who would kill themselves for a chance at their own Wendy Peffercorn. The risk-takers. The rabble-rousers. These are the friends that will last your entire lifetime. Pals. Buddies. Chums. Others will come and go like achoos attached to seasonable allergies, but these are the friends you never want to let go.
“My God, he looks like a dead fish.”
Make and keep friends who tease you when you’re new, but accept you once you’ve proven you’ve got the moxie to stick up for yourself. The heady-ones. The hard-earners. These are friends you’ve earned, not settled for. They will be there on your wedding day, feigning smiles because your future wife is a prickly-bitch, and at the hospital to light stogies when your first kid emerges like a prenatal scuba diver.
“Because he makes nine of us. Yeah yeah, so does my sister, but I didn’t bring her along!”
Make and keep friends who serve as family when your parents don’t realize you exist. Make a pal like Chris Chambers. The nurturers. The listeners. They’d run through a brick wall for you, but slow down just enough to ensure that they weren’t holding you back. They’ll be the ones you just won’t be able to keep no matter how much you try. Sometimes life comes at you fast and they’re gone in a plume of baseball rosin.
“I know how your dad feels about you. He doesn’t give a sh*t about you. Denny was the one he cared about and don’t try to tell me different. You’re just a kid, Gordie.”
Make and keep friends who tease you when you don’t know something. The big-mouths. The instigators. Those tears you shed as a kid will turn to laughter precipitation as adults over pints and pretzels.
“You’re killing me Smalls! These are s’more’s stuff! Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallows flaming… you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try some!”
Make and keep friends who will get you out of the greatest pickle you’ve ever been in. The Benny-and-the-Jets. The “heroes are remembered but legends never die” stand up fellas. They will save you. You will save them. You will be best friends through address changes and life hurdles that fall like Tetris shapes.
“You’re saying I should hop over that fence and pickle The Beast?”
“Although I hadn’t seen him in more than ten years, I know I’ll miss him forever.”
Make and keep friends who are up for an adventure. The-explorers. The want-mores. Life will be far more interesting when your life proceeds like a Tilt-O-Whirl rather than like a predetermined trip around the bases.
“I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959-a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world.”
Make and keep friends who do bad things for the right reasons. The thin-blue-line-crossers. The law-scoffers. Life is that much sweeter when you’ve tasted it through a handful of sucker punches and wire brushes with the law.
“You got two choices. You leave quietly, we take the body. Or, you can stay, we beat the shit out of you, we take the body.”
Make and keep friends who have emotional baggage. The sad-sack-stocking stuffers. The long-walk-0ff-a-short-pier peers. Normalcy seems that much more attainable with them around.
“It was weird to me how, then, Teddy could care so much about his father, who practically tried to kill him. And I couldn’t give a sh*t about my old man, and he hadn’t laid a hand on me since I was three!”
Make friends who can make you stop and smell the roses. The-astute-brutes. The-observant-ones.
“You gotta stop thinking. Just have fun. I mean, if you were having fun you would’ve caught that ball.”
Make and keep friends who would die for you.
Make and keep friends that would find death with you.