Tuesday, October 12, 2004
It is important to me to have one or two close male friends -- friends with whom to share secrets, discuss music and politics, and participate in sports. I feel more comfortable around men than women, so it is natural that men provide my closest friends. In fact, come to think of it, this is probably a typical feeling among males in this country, married or unmarried. We all need close friends of the same sex.Although I'm by nature a loner, I once had a close friend like that. We used to play chess, grouse about work, swap books, and perform music together.
It was the kind of friendship Augustine talks about in his Confessions (4.8.13, tr. Albert C. Outler):
There were other things in our companionship that took strong hold of my mind: to discourse and jest with him; to indulge in courteous exchanges; to read pleasant books together; to trifle together; to be earnest together; to differ at times without ill-humor, as a man might do with himself, and even through these infrequent dissensions to find zest in our more frequent agreements; sometimes teaching, sometimes being taught.
alia erant, quae in eis amplius capiebant animum, colloqui et corridere et vicissim benevole obsequi, simul legere libros dulciloquos, simul nugari et simul honestari, dissentire interdum sine odio tamquam ipse homo secum atque ipsa rarissima dissensione condire consensiones plurimas, docere aliquid invicem aut discere ab invicem.