There was a song, “Hold an Old Friend’s Hand,” by Tiffany. Remember Tiffany? She thought she was alone now, that the beating of her heart was the only sound, but now she’s actually been alone for like 30 years and it turns out it sucks. And also she has heart palpitations. I read that somewhere, Reader’s Digest probably. Everything I need to know in life I learned from Reader’s Digest. While I was supposed to be in kindergarten but was actually sitting on the john in the boy’s bathroom. What can I say, I was mature beyond my years.
I really have a soft spot for old friends, even if I don’t hold their hands. Which I think is reasonable. I just think that if you went around holding old friends’ hands, people would get the wrong idea. Like if you’re both married to someone else, that makes holding friends’ hands — at best — weird, right? And at worst it can get you stoned to death, if you for some reason did it in Iran.
And even if you’re both single and you’re holding hands because you’re friends, haven’t you kind of crossed out of the friend zone at that point, so that you’re not holding an old friend’s hand anymore, but rather holding a new “friend’s” hand? I don’t think Tiffany really thought this through. Truth be told, I don’t think Tiffany thought through very many things, like the lyrics to “Mr. Mambo,” for instance. She definitely did not think those through. That is a really horrible song, and whenever I hear it I wish I was Hellen Keller so I wouldn’t have to hear it anymore or see other people watching me listening to it and maybe thinking I like it. Because I don’t. I just want to be clear about that.
One of the great things about living in the United States is that I get the chance to see old friends a lot more than when I live overseas. For some reason I can’t get people to come visit me in the foreign countries I live in. This may be because I usually live in foreign countries where you can be legally beheaded, or where the murder rate is higher than anywhere else on the planet, or where the air and water are toxic beyond all reason and may potentially cause mutations, but not the kind like Wolverine has (I personally would be OK with a mutating to look like Hugh Jackman, and also would be OK with a mutation where he and I share a bank account), but more like the kind of mutations that the Baby Ruth guy from The Goonies had.
But now that I’m in the U.S., sometimes I get to see old friends. For instance, Kristina and Andres came to visit me. They said they came for a “work conference,” but it’s understood that they just told their employer that so the company would pay for the trip to come see me. Also, Kristina’s sister supposedly lives in the same city as me, but it’s understood that Kristina’s sister is imaginary. They definitely came solely to see me. And I appreciate that.
I have known Kristina and Andres since before they got married even. In fact, I actually played a key role in them tying the knot. That is a fact. My role was that I told Kristina, Hey, that guy Andres is kind of good looking, like, speaking as a married heterosexual guy, and she was like, I know, I’ve been thinking that for a long time and in fact I think I’ve told you I think that, so really you’re just repeating something you already know I already think as though it was your idea. And I was like, Yeah, but he’s kind of good looking, like, speaking as a married heterosexual guy. Then they got married. No need to thank me, it was really nothing.
Also my friends Mike and Emily and their kids live relatively near me, which is super cool. They moved here because I live here. This is true even though they lived here first. It’s hard to understand how that can be, but just because something doesn’t make rational sense doesn’t mean it’s not real. Think of Milli Vanilli — it doesn’t make rational sense to like Milli Vanilli yet everyone does. Girl you know it’s true.
Mike and Emily allegedly moved here because Mike “got a job” here. But it’s understood that his “job” is living within 40 miles of me so that I can email him once every other month to ask how bad the ticks are. That’s what bros do.
A few weeks ago, me and Kristina and Andres and Mike and Emily and all their kids met up in downtown Washington. It was pretty epic. We picked up some tacos at District Taco, which is a taco chain inspired the Hunger Games, or maybe just hungry people, I really don’t know. But to me it has an Orwellian ring to it. I am not sure what Orwellian means, to really level with you.
Then we ate our tacos in Lafayette Square, which is right across the street from the White House. I think the President was in New York at the United Nations at the time, or else we would’ve shared our tacos in a non-partisan gesture, a pure-hearted act of altruism. Was it Kierkegaard or the Taco Bell chihuahua who said, “Purity of heart is to will one thing. Tacos."?
Once we finished our tacos, we went and protested a little bit outside the White House. I mean, some unemployed people did, I’m not allowed because of the Hatch Act. It’s a law that says that executive branch employees can’t take part in certain political activities, or play X-Box during work hours, or wear colorful clothing, or like Vince Clarke-era Depeche Mode. So I just watched and enjoyed my time with old friends, holding no one’s hand, because that’s gross.