Do you tend to make friends easily? Why or why not?
I take friendship very seriously. I have not had many true friends, and that is surely for a variety of complex reasons. People who have not been my friends have been kind to me, while disliking me. Mostly I sense that I am merely tolerated.
But there have been some few. I selected them easily, but that to was done after watching people long, thinking about why they were valuable. After watching myself long, thinking about what I could respect. When faced with a complex but common dental problem - a standard misalignment of the incisors, for example - I am, given proper tools, able to correct it easily. But that is also long study of that and all related and similar cases, for one never knows which may arise. So, if it might be said that I corrected the teeth easily, it might be similarly said that I selected my friends easily.
You notice that I say selection, which is not mutual. I have always chosen my friends first - decided with whom I would place my allegiance. These I count as friends. People like Bat Masterson, and John Clum, who then did not like me and later said so plainly. There was never any real doubt. They were good men, on the side of Right. But we would have sided with one another. Bat helped me in Colorado, albeit for Wyatt's sake, and had I gone back to Arizona I, even at the time, expressed faith that Clum would have spoken for me. Much good would it have done. Such friends were mine to claim despite their wishes, beliefs, or what they thought. Yes, I am selfish, and again I do not apologise. I am not generous about granting you, or any, influence over what I myself say or think or do. I am not generous with my attention or my time. My reasons and ideals hold me and will not bend, no matter what any says to convince or sway me, save should I realise I have analysed incorrectly. So, I will selfishly hold those friends I select, no matter what they themselves say. I stand therefore, for those who would never stand for me.
I was not Wyatt's friend, in the beginning, though he was mine. Mutual friends are not easy to make. True friends, who I would hold on another level. Friends personal as well as philosophical. I selected him upon meeting him. It was not easy making friends with Wyatt. He was reticent and practical, focused on duty, what was best. I could see it immediately and admired it, for he was also reflective, considering. And diligent, courageous, willing to act on his reflections, on anything he perceived his duty to be. If he did not think I was steel, he surely was himself. And yet he had the social grace, the practical interrelational ease I could not be bothered with. I admired Wyatt, but I did not have any idea of emulating him. I spoke to him even in the early days, about everything - my family, my... life and death, more. Later, he came to value me too, such as no man did, but... 'whatever attachment existed between us at that time was certainly one-sided.' No, it was not easy.
It was easy to make friends with Morgan, and he too was my true friend - more than Wyatt's brother. We had so much in common. We shared a cheek and lack of temperance, played off one another, rode and fought, drank, played cards and relaxed together. Laughed. With no one, I think, since Hub, had I been so light hearted, and yet he was deep and sincere also. It is a great thing to be as carefree as one may, while knowing another's soul as if one held it in one's hand. Ah, Morgan! He is always forgotten, left alone in quiet, because he was murdered. A moving picture, long long long after my death hadme saying when he was killed that I had thought of him as my own little brother. Not so! He was my true friend. And he was, like everyone, older than I.
It was easy to make friends with Virgil. He did not like me at once either, was wary of my 'reputation' until he deemed it simple slander. But he was open and friendly, with a huge welcoming laugh. I am sure that, had I had any malevolence towards him or his, I should have been barred forthwith, but Wyatt's word was gold to him. He was brave and firm and infinitely respectable to me as well. He respected me enough to vouch for me, and I stayed in Prescott with Gospers, who would become governor, and amongst others of his own personally valued friends. In those days a letter of introduction granted one's word and bond for another, and he extended that to me.
Eddie Foy was an easy man with whom to make friends. He was generous in the ways that I am not, and also full of goodness and courage and warmth, and a kind of genuine wonder at his fellow man. I impressed him, caused him to look at me in interest and responsibility simply because I existed. He was not naive, in any way, but he simply lived for experience and companionship, whether of temperance or intemperance, and perhaps the uniqueness of the latter attracted him more. When people are your friends, your true friends, when you enter a room, they cannot hide it, and their eyes turn to you in a flash of openness for that quick spontaneous second. That was at the core of Eddie Foy. That split second, extended. And he had himself so much to offer, to anyone.
Billy Leonard was not an easy person with whom to make friends, for he was shy, but it was natural and inevitable. We had so much in common. Professionally, we had the need for gold, and its refinement, annealing, working. He for his jewellery, and I for my dental mechanics. Working together, we became colleagues and then, yes, friends. We shared consumption, social unease, a certain disdain for convention. And yes, we became friends, shared companionship. I offered him loyalty, even after everything changed and he robbed that stage. I stood for him, would have died for him, did not lose faith, though it nearly killed us all.
There were others - Robert, Lee John Smith, Karl Fuchs from dental school, cardmen and lawmen, but I have written long enough here.
In conclusion, I do not know whether I tend
to make friends easily, reflecting on these examples. It is such an important business, intense even, in which one must be prepared to lose one's life, or all one has and loves. Trust is not given lightly, they say. But it ought not to be taken on
lightly either. Friendship demands absolute loyalty, and ease of finding or building that is not a relevant factor. I shall quote Kipling again, from my profile. It is not just 'finding' or 'making friends with' that thousandth man. It is being that man for your friend.The Thousandth Man
One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it's worth while seeking him half of your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world against you.
It is neither promise nor prayer nor show
That will settle the finding for thee
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of them go
By your looks or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world won't matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.
His wrong is your wrong, and his right is your right,
In season and out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight -
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot - and after!
Wyatt Earp is my friend.
He so often said it, insisting again and again, to those who would refute it or challenge its desirability: "Doc Holliday is my friend."
And I will say it again, then, for him.
Wyatt Earp is my friend.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 1234 (without the poem.)
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus