In too many of my friendships now – and living at a boarding school may be the primary factor here – I find myself playing “catch up,” i.e. going through the mournful task of exchanging highlights of our lives in the gap between our present conversation and the last time we spoke. Growing up, I never had to perform this duty with my friends. We connected immediately through a dick joke and got down to improvising. No “so what have you been up to?” bullshit where there’s just a lot of semi-interested head nodding and dead-end follow-up questioning. And if not questioning, it’s pulling out all the most cliche adult shit from the social conventions playbook that makes each of you feel like you’re on the same page, e.g. if they say they went to the dentist, you pull out some deadening anecdote about how isn’t it frustrating when they’re trying to talk to you as they’re stabbing you in the gums and then wondering why you’re bleeding? A cordial chuckle commends your olive branch, and then pregnant pauses ensue.
As children? No fucking pauses. The action was non-stop. Because your life didn’t have to have significance. As adults, you have to play catch up on the absurd presumption that things happened. Because for adults, things are always happening. And if they’re not, there’s something seriously wrong with you, adult person. Go make some shit happen and then report on it in our next debriefing. Give us something to talk about. Did you need something to talk about when you were a kid? No! You fucking invented. You yes-and-ed everything because you implicitly treated your friends like fucking artists and geniuses, not like the dutiful, wonder-killing roles they’re morally obligated to fulfill as adults.
Good sweat. And that’s pretty much all this exercise here was. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.