Photo courtesy of BET.com
"To the death of us, me and my confidants we shine, You feel the ambiance, yall n##### just rhyme"
Earlier tonight, I was sitting comfortably in my room, getting ready to watch one of my Chinese art-house films that I've been hoping to watch for months now. As the movie started my friend calls me, and I replied by ignoring his call. He calls back after five minutes, and I decide to entertain him for the moment. My friend is the kinda guy who will always tell me something that he heard that may have involved my name or some kind of connection to me. He like, never fails to let me know what he knows. And tonight was no exception. To spare the gossip its unnecessary details, he tells me about what happened at a certain event that involved people that used to have great involvement in my life. At first I was telling my friend that I knew about it already, and I really didn't care about it anyway. He wasn't the first person to tell me about it, and I was beginning to think that he was just telling me this stuff to rile me up and have me start drama, as most people love doing in this world. I kept telling him that I really don't care about those two people anymore and that "guys need to do what they gotta do" so as far as I'm concerned... I'm not concerned.
But then my friend makes his argument. He knows I could care less about these people, but he felt that what happened was disrespectful to me. He felt that what person A did to person B was an indirect slap at my character and friendship with Person A. At this point, I really do begin to get riled up. But I tell my friend that I know what's up, and it's nothing new to me. I appreciate what he's trying to do and I believe that he's only looking out for my best intentions, but I really don't need to do anything about it and I would have been a lot happier if I remained ignorant of everything. But what's done is done, and I know what's up. My friend proceeds to tell me what he would have done if he was there and so forth ("I would have been like 'what about Ramon? Remember him?'"), and it's all hilarious. But through all of that, I began to think about something that I've been thinking about for a while now. This whole issue of friendship and the respect and "guidelines" of what makes a real friendship between people. I figured that I've never really talked about my friends as a matter of my relationships with them, so I might as well try to get into that now, while I'm still a little riled up.
The clear-cut truth is that I have a lot of friends. Being that I've moved around a lot and have always been open to making close ties, I've come out of a lot of cities with several guys and girls that rightfully claim a piece of my heart. I would like to convince myself that I'm careful of how I choose my closest friends, and when it really comes down to it, I got a pretty good circle around me. Throughout the loves and heartbreaks I've encountered, there was always a close friend to provide the support I needed. It's easy to be my friend, because I'm not opposed to people. I love being around people and I'll make the effort to be social in order to KEEP people around me. That's just how I rock.
Being that I'm in my mid-20s, some might say I'm still a little immature that I still represent and claim "crews" with pride. I'm still DX, I'm still LID, I'm still the other half of 'Black and Brown.' I just don't think it'll get old, because what is represented isn't any lame gang or territory affiliation. What is represented is an honest and heartfelt effort of true friendship. I have true friends in these people, and it's such a good thing that we had to put a name to it. It's something to look back on and to go forward with. I got to spend a night hanging out with my DX guys, a night that was 7 years in the making, and I loved it! I can't wait until we hang out more, because hanging out with the same guys let me know that despite our differing directions in life, we can still come back to each other and have a great time. Call that immature or whatever, but while we all have that privilege and opportunity, we're just going to keep taking advantage of it!
"It was all good just a week ago"
My last day in Texas was spent with my LID boys, minus 1, along with my Dallas brothers. What a better way to spend my last day than to spend it with the only people who have always had my back in Texas since day one. What a better way to create a few final memories than to create it with some of the most memorable people in my life! The fact that my LID guys from Houston drove 4 hours in the middle of the night just to spend time with me is a definitive display of friendship and brotherhood. How could anyone dispute that? So it's simple enough to figure out that I am heterosexually in love with these guys, because they know how to show love back.
With friendships comes the issue of respect and even loyalty. Respect is a big part of me, because respect surpasses any other characteristics in a person. You can be a total idiot, a total A-hole, a total c-block, a total slob, but if you earn my respect and show me loyalty then all other factors almost always ceases to matter. If a person is loyal to my friendship, then I will ride and die with that person for life. It's an unspoken oath and code of ethics that I live by, and it's what I offer to anyone who wants to be close friends with me. The people who know me best know that I have a friend's back, regardless of the situation. I don't always agree with what my friends do, but I always let them know that I'm still there for emotional support and any other kind of support I might be able to offer. I might make fun of my friends a lot, but at the end of the day, I still remain willfully guilty by association. I even appreciate when my friends tear me a new one for whatever weird thing I do or say. That's what friends are for!
But with respect and loyalty comes the issue of integrity. Integrity isn't something that someone can do for another, I feel like integrity is almost exclusively a personal thing. I won't try to define what I think integrity is, but it's something I try my best to uphold. With all my choices and lifestyle decisions, I try to do everything with integrity. Integrity is something that we all work on in ourselves. But the idea of integrity can be evident in how a person treats their friends and colleagues. However the relationship develops, friends uphold their own integrity in how they treat each other. Even if I'm always offering to pay for gas or food or offering a ride (that is, if I had a car), I'm a bad friend if I'm not dignified enough to uphold my personal integrity with my friends. I think a person respects me more as a good friend if they can tell that I try to abide and uphold by a code of morals and ethics that define my character.
"We destroy and rebuilding"
And so now we go back to whatever the heck went down this weekend. I've only had to kick one person out of my rather tight-knit circle of friends in my whole life, and it happened this year. That's not to say that we're not friends, and I still appreciate that person as a human being. But I now approach that person as no higher than an acquaintance. Someone I just know, but I don't expect that person to have my back or anything like that anymore. That person is a good person, but as far as I'm concerned, he's just someone cool to hang out with. That doesn't imply beef or drama or any kind of hatred. It's just that, well, I don't need disloyalty in my environment. People who know me know how I feel about that person, so there's nothing more to say. I'll defend a friend who might make a lot of poor decisions, but when a person makes poor decisions on how to handle my friendship and love and respect, then it's all in the past now.
I'm not acting out of jealousy, hatred, or anything negative. I don't consider my life as having one less friend at all. But as far as my closest of close friends, well that circle just got a little smaller. If someone doesn't have the integrity to consider my feelings, then that's a snake move right there. My closest friends always know to call me just to see how I'm doing or how I'm feeling about whatever - those are the people that I love best. All my closest friends called me or texted me when I was moving back up to Washington - from both states. All but one. I figured that if a person can't even let me know I'm on his or her mind, then I really don't matter to that person. Therefore, I might as well cut that off and give more concentration on those who do show me that kind of concern. I'm not opposed to any relationship choices, but I just think a good friend let's me know what's up. A good friend doesn't need my permission or approval for anything, but I just think a real friend would love me enough to let me know about what's up, especially if that choice has some kind of relation or involvement to me. And let's be real homey, I'm involved, whether I want to be or not! That's as much as I'll be up front about it.
With all that said, I'm still down for all my close friends. I'm enjoying my time right now, so everything is gravy and stuffing. This is a positive blog darnit! I appreciate my friends and people who appreciate friendships in general. We don't really need to be loners in life! Enjoy the people around you, but be smart about it, as you should be smart in everything you do. If you suspect someone of being shady, then pull the dang shades up from your suspicions and just ask about it. With that said, uumm... the movie Quarantine SUCKED. Go watch the original version, the Spanish-made [Rec].