Sometimes I wish I could just give all the people that I meet up with this questionnaire on things that really matter:
How’s your life coming along? What is happening in your life now?
How are the people who are important to you?
How are your relationships with them?
Are you joyful? (Not ‘happy’)
Are you at peace?
Do you love?
Do you feel loved? Are you loved? (They’re different you know? And both answers do matter.)
Are there people in your life that you can talk to? Are there people that you can tell the most absurd, bored, mundane, shameful and sorrowful things to?
Are you empty? Are you lonely? Are you frustrated?
How are you living your life?
But I guess things don’t really work this way, do they? I can’t just give people the questions and expect them to be answered as if I was their closest confidante (perhaps even confidantes can’t answer those questions). I have to talk about the weather first, then about the latest news, then the newest scandal, then our common interest, our common dislike, our favorite things… THEN maybe I can ask a question or two.
And in this odyssey, when does an acquaintance end and a friend begin?
When do differences and estrangement tip the balance against shared experiences and fond memories?
I guess I know of a couple of people who would answer with a word: Never.