2004-10-13 - 4:09 p.m.

I have this guy I know. Kinda know. I have this guy who is a friend of a friend. We've hung out a number of times, I've slept on his couch, he's thrown up inches from my lap.

It's the kind of relationship where, if you don't talk for awhile you feel awkward picking up the phone and just saying...hey, what's up, but you know if you do you'll both be glad you did.

We have very different social positions. He's the one that everyone knows and everyone wants to know. I'm the one that worries every time we talk that he won't remember me just by my first name and I'll have to explain who I am, even though that's never been close to true.

Anyway, he's a ball of fun. We don't have a serious friendship, he's not my go to guy in case of problems, or if I needed to just talk. He's the party pal.

The thing is, if we spent more time around each other we'd be that kind of "go to" friend for each other because we're just exactly compatible in that way. We've talked about this, it's just an accident of space and time that we don't have that kind of relationship.

So being around him, talking to him has always been sort of like candy. Imported candy. Cause you can't just run to the store and get it, you have to grab it when you can but when you do it's sweet and satisfying but too much of it...

Well, we've never reached that point until very recently.

Even then my analogy falls apart because it's not too much of it. It's more like, there's an ingredient that I'm allergic to and suddenly that ingredient is more prevalent and I'm breaking out in hives.

So this "friend" and I have VERY different political views. I would rather have a president with strong values and decisive action that I don't agree with 100% than vote for a person just because he's the nominee for the party I support. I would rather have someone with strong views that I know how I feel about than someone who doesn't know how he feels about anything until the people in the room tell him.

So this "friend" is a pretty hefty and loud liberal demoncrat. Normally this would not come up in conversation but what with the election, and the fact that his dad is running for Congress...well, it kind of had to rear it's ugly head.

I could have gone my whole life without having this conversation with him.

Now I'll say this, he's articulate and better informed than most, or I should say, any democrat I've ever spoken to, but still it's impossible to have a conversation or an arguement when you both think the other is completely delusional and living in a polluted fantasy.

It got more heated than I would have liked.

Here's the great thing about this guy. We were really fighting, screaming and then talking and just going at it. We hung up mad and shaking our heads.

I was thinking, well, so much for that. I mean, how can I be friends, even just on the occasional with someone who thinks like that? Besides, I'm sure he's in no hurry to hang out with me again now.

But that was so untrue. Because I got the best email from him, telling me how much he appreciated the conversation, how he loves to really get his teeth into something like that with someone who won't just back down and agree. He told me that he can't wait until our next debate and then said some sweet and unrelated things.

People think they love him, he has fans everywhere who adore him, and they don't even begin to know exactly how great he is, because he taught me that we can be on the exact opposite side of the same issue and I can completely hate his politics but love him through it. I've had trouble with that in the past. I've looked at friends through political colored glasses.

Not friends who are only tangentally interested in politics. If I have a friend who is a liberal because they grew up in Massachusetts and that's what you do here, well, okay, I'm annoyed that you aren't really paying attention but I can still be your friend because you don't really stand for the crap that I associate with liberals, but the people I know who are hard core liberals who really love to repeat the crap that the spin doc's cook up, I just have to sever ties because it's too much, I can't respect that.

Maybe the difference here is that the arguements had some merit, maybe it's that he was thinking on his own and not repeating statistics he was fed from some bullshit political machine, maybe it was that my views were being respected even as they were being disagreed with.

I know this though, this is a friendship I want to hang on to, and if possible, find a way to build on.

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