by Terry Eagan
My best friend has perfected the art of deception. She blends words and deeds seamlessly into the most comforting of distractions. I, as many other supplicants, do not seek her for an answer to our questions. Rather, we seek her confirmation for plans we have already lain. She is no Oracle at Delphi, but a predestined Magic Eight Ball. Does this cast our friendship in a distorted light? I say not in the least. Those who claim friendship as the repository of truth and fidelity are the gadflies of society. They are the instigators of revolutions and architects of witch-hunts. Friendship cares not for truth. Trust perhaps, but never the truth. The truth says, "You are an insufferable little prick." Or, "You are a bore." And even, "Perhaps you should see someone about that rash." Friendship is much kinder and will drive you to the doctor, or perhaps, buy you a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People .
Outsiders view our relationship with dismay. They question me, "How can you have a relationship based on deception? She never tells anyone the truth, only what they want to hear." I respond, "Have you ever been to a church?" Or, "have you ever been in love?" When has love cared a whit for truth? When I raise these questions to her, she replies that she, too, has heard their whispers. For her, it is merely the babble of the uninspired, the petty, and the damned. "Those poor fools do not understand the straits we are placed in, " she says. "It is harder to bite your tongue when your friends make mistakes than offer them glib advice. Besides, the last thing I want is to be held responsible for someone's lack of imagination."
In "truth" (if you will allow me that, gentle reader), I have great admiration for those who can survive the day-to-day drudge we know as the modern world. Some make it through life with drugs and fetishes. Others find their solace behind stained glass windows. My friends and I have are own decidedly different approach; who among you are capable of reproaching us? A wink and a nod from dear friends that all is well (when even the best-laid plans may not be enough) may be all that some of us get.