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First, there’s the you of flesh and blood
And then there’s the you in my memory
And then there are other yous:
The you in my imagination, better than the actual you
The you in my thoughts, frequent and insisting
The you in my fantasies, naked and wild
The you I think I know
The you I don’t know at all
The you that is kind
The you that is mean
The you that you show me
When you are with me
The you that lingers after you leave
The you that inhabits me
The you that is all mine
The you I don’t have to share with the world
The you I cannot lose
The you that for me is more you
The you that is I.
Friendship is, on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the first item under the Love and Belonging category, just above the fundamental physiological and safety needs, and just below self-esteem and self-realization. Whether or not Maslow got it right is up for debate, but one thing’s clear – life without friends is a lonely vagabondage, which makes even the most solitary and self-sufficient of us feel that something is missing.
“A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself.” – Frances Ward Weller