The Ins and Outs

Its funny how people come in and out of your life. You think you will know them forever and then, at the very instant you think that they are gone, chasing some other whimsical flight of fancy. How do people know or meet anybody? I think this is a Malcolm Gladwell topic.

I, myself, am not sure of this. It’s more than playing six degrees of separation. It’s more a game of chance, and maybe of Russian roulette. One out of six blanks will fire an actual bullet, leaving you–the friend–in a state of shock, or, rather, never wanting to play with guns again.

This all came to me after reading an email from a college friend who lives in L.A. We share many mutual friends, most of whom are no longer “friends,” and mere acquaintances. These are the people–the six degrees–who leave you hanging out somewhere in the ether, wondering what happened with that? One of these mutual friends just had a baby. She and I were once closer than she and my L.A. friend, but with conjoining careers and other circumstances, their six degrees shrank to zero. Interesting how people ebb and flow to and fro. Who is closer, who is further. The ins and outs of social relationships. Of friendships.

I have another college friend with whom, while we were studying together in London, was told by our professor that because we were each other’s first friends in college would be “friends forever.” There’s a term that dates back to the days of jr. high school. However, through our own ebbs and flows and the miracle of technology we remain in contact, though geographically separated by two time zones and about 1,600 miles.

I often wonder how to meet like-minded people and kindred spirits. How will my six-degrees of separation bring me toward the chance encounter with more blanks for my game of Russian roulette? I have yet to stop playing. The thrill of the plug keeps me tuned.

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