Friends Will Be Friends

The Gonzo Journals

March 23rd, 2023


It’s something which came easily to me growing up…or did it? In hindsight, I’m not so sure. Why? defines the word “friend” as:

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

a person who gives assistance; patronsupporterfriends of the Boston Symphony.

a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile:Who goes there? Friend or foe?

a member of the same nation, party, etc.

Photo by Min An on

I disagree with all of these. The internet is obviously too loose with friendship. I’ve had many different acquaintances, girlfriends, and wives over the years, but obviously only ONE friend. If you combine all the definitions above but add “has seen you naked”, that’s MY definition of friend.

I have thousands of acquaintances thanks to social media, but none of these people are my friends. Even the ones I’ve met in person. They may tick the boxes on several of the definitions, but none of them have seen me without apparel. Therefore, not friends. Acquaintances.

Real friends? At one time in my life, I’d like to think I had five of them, but I was dead wrong. Two of them chose to support my ex-wife during the divorce instead of me. I think that disqualifies them. Another was the wife before we decided to date and get married. Big mistake. I don’t miss my ex-wife at all, but I do miss my friend from time to time. Never confuse sex with friendship. If you do, then your right hand qualifies for friend status. I can jerk off and keep a friend any day!

Photo by Kat Smith on

The last one? He turned into a super conservative Qanon Trumper, and I refuse to have that in my life. He left the relationship, but I chose not to make amends. That leaves one person on the whole planet. One.

We rarely see each other or talk, but we know each other exists. Are we still friends? Absolutely, but not by standard definition. We are both adults with careers and lives and live an hour apart. Also, we’ve seen each other naked. It was decades ago, but it happened. He lost his virginity to the girl who became my first wife. Ah, the joy of small-town living. Everyone has swapped fluids with everyone else by proxy, I’m sure. There was a donkey braying in a pasture nearby, but I thought it was that chick moaning. Good times.

Most of today’s youth have zero friends if you base them against my checklist but, even if you remove the nudity qualification, they’re still screwed. No one likes to physically meet anymore, and I don’t blame them! People suck, for the most part, and they’re just fine and dandy with virtual relationships and friendships. I’ve followed their lead, to be honest. Face to face contact is overrated, especially since the pandemic. You’re doing simply fine on that Zoom call. Stay on your side of the internet.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I sometimes long for the days of large gatherings on parking lots from my teenage years, blaring hair metal, smoking massive amounts of weed, chasing girls, and tossing a frisbee around. The laughter, the breakouts of unexpected, physical violence, strange handshakes, and dodging police officers are all activities from my past which only exist now in fading memories. I would choke to death if I lit up a Marlboro or throw up a week’s worth of lunch if the vile smell of Mad Dog 20/20 came anywhere near my nostrils. Still, looking back, I never once sat around during my high school years and fantasized what it would be like in my fifties. Actually, I’m 49, but I might as well be 50. It all begins to look and feel the same after thirty. Fair warning.

Today, a friend came to visit me for two hours. He came all the way from Minneapolis, Minnesota to do so. I normally wouldn’t rant and rave about a simple breakfast meetup, but I can’t even get people I’ve known my whole life to show up to a cookout a simple hour away. I mean, come on. Free food, fuckers! Nope. Between technology, COVID, and the inability to recognize your political god as the most idiotic, racist criminal our modern world has ever seen, I can no longer tolerate the ignorance of others. Yes, the world may be ending in the next twenty or so years, but the world I once loved died a long time ago.

ASPEN CO – CIRCA 1976: Journalist Hunter S. Thompson sits at his typewriter at his ranch circa 1976 near Aspen Colorado. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/GettyImages)

In the words of Hunter S. Thompson:

“It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…

And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high water mark — that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.”

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

I recall when the wave broke in my own life. The day was September 11th, 2001. Up until that moment, America was immortal. Suddenly the land of the free and home of the brave was not so safe anymore. In the blink of an eye, we were shown a third world mentality and never guided back to when we were king of the mountain. Society pulled together as one for about a week, leading some, including myself, to believe it was the beginning of a new era. A time of peace, harmony, and unity. It didn’t last. It never does.

Two decades later, all we do is fuss and fight over the most insignificant bullshit imaginable. The mask of racism has been flung to the floor and now idiots wear their pride out on their sleeves for the world to see. Crooked politicians have caused our fellow Americans to take sides, serving insults and bullets at one another at any given moment or location. Those we’ve elected to lead and protect us now resemble an episode of South Park come to life with no end credits in sight. We are truly doomed, and we deserve every wrathful second of the coming destructor’s attention. I’m sickened by what life in this country has become. Breathe, eat, shit, and lie behind the safety of your keyboard.

In the end, we will go out of this crazy world the same way we came in: hopeless, friendless, and covered in our own putrid waste. The doctor’s blade will forgo the cord and go straight for the throat this time. All the doors are locked up tight and the key master is nowhere to be found. We are trapped on a Dutch blind date with inevitability, and he conveniently forgot his wallet at home. Rolling up your sleeves and tackling the dirty crockery in lieu of payment is no longer an option. The piper beckons, and we have no choice but to answer with money in hand.

Photo by Pixabay on

The cut is painful, but only for a second. It’s followed by the warm blanket of blood pouring from the open wound and down your body in the same way our mothers tucked us into bed as toddlers. Eventually, we’ll fade off into oblivion, not knowing our own ass from a hole in the ground. If that’s truly the case, I don’t expect the planet to survive much longer. Capitalism doesn’t even bother to spit in its hand and smear the orifice before the forced, dry friction ensues. The Earth is the newest doll in the saloon and the powers that be can’t wait to get their turn at a poke.

If only I had someone to share in the laughter as we watch the valley go up in flames beneath the mountain top. The fire and heat will reach us eventually, scorching us like the heads of spent matches, but there’s a finite period between incineration and the smoldering end to get in a good chuckle or two. I’ll more than likely be forced to endure the destruction alone with only my internal monologue to keep me company.

So be it.

In death, as in birth, we fade in the blink of eternity’s eye, alone and sobbing, with not an inch of dignity to spare. This is the way of things, but they’ll never tell. This is where I come in. Have I lied to you yet?



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