writing prompt #20

I got nothin’ –there’s not a whole lot to say today. Had I brought my camera with me yesterday, I’d have some sweet-ass pictures of wake-surfing on a 60′ yacht and Paul Allen’s suite at the Seattle Sounders game. But I didn’t think ahead, so my epic day is left to words when pictures would be so much better.

So, today I figured I’d leave you with a (not so perfect) poem inspired by another Moleskine writing prompt.  Prompt #20: Write a poem including these phrases: “empty soda cans,” “aging rock stars,” and “crusts of bread.” (I modified “crusts of bread” to be “crumbs”) Here’s the final-ish product.

Inside damp pockets: crumbs, nickle, string.
It is 2 a.m. Home is away, lost.
It is the rain, the alley, the music, the wandering
Together, mixing into the grey–unknown. It is a dream
Broken.
Aging rock stars, boys now male, pass through
Wetness, darkness, leaving blinking neon and
Glass rings–empty. Blackness mixes with
Wet, a cracked mirror of promise.
Grey-silver, they reflect the asphalt water–open and soiled–
Empty soda cans left beside swollen cigarettes. Rain
Drips silently in the shadows. It is all a 
Memory.

Mediocre Melodies

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Me: I’m trying to listen to cleaner music, so I tried listening to the Christian radio station.

Friend: How’s that going for you?

Me: I made it through two songs.

best friends forever, or until I reach my max

He and I were recently talking about friends over breakfast (gluten free pancakes and a vegan scramble). I mentioned how I’d like to be a better friend and I’m inspired to be more intentional (and kind). “Frankly, I need more friends,” is what I concluded. We talked about Facebook friends and what it would mean to get to know each person well, so well, in fact, that these people could be on your real life friend list. He then informed me that current research suggests that people can only have up to a certain number of friends. (I thought he was kidding). And even then, it’s only the experienced friend-getters who actually reach this higher number. People like me can probably handle around 20 good friends. (Depressing). According to a Sunday Times article, “What you might not know is that there is an evolutionary limit to the number of friends we can meaningfully have, whether in Facebook or in real life.” In fact, according to Robin Dunbar, we can have approximately 150 friends. So, it’s a little true. He’s right.

At first I was little sad. I want as many friends as possible, and 150 doesn’t seem like enough. Plus, I think my siblings count in the final tally, so that’s 144 open friend spots. Then there’s him and my group of childhood friends–openings are now at 138….then co-workers and maybe my tattoo artist…(just kidding, no tattoos)…that’s 134… On the other hand, I have a hard time keeping up with all the people I already know and maintaining even something remotely close to a working friendship. Maybe 150 is too many.

The Sunday Times article goes on to state:

Do humans actually have social groups of 150? Well, yes, as it happens. What was the size of English villages at the time of the Domesday Book? 150. And Neolithic communities from the Middle East? Again, 150. The basic military unit of the Roman army during the Republic? Around 130. Pre-industrial tribal groupings tend to be bigger — 500 to 2,500 — but within tribes, there are usually smaller groupings such as clans, whose number is, once more, 150. Even now that many of us live in cities of many millions, the number keeps popping up again. For example, Dunbar suggests that 150 is a normal number of people to send Christmas cards to[.]

Friends and non-friends, this is interesting stuff. I’d still like to work on being a better and more intentional friend–like someone who remembers birthdays (before they arrive) and knows the favorite flowers, foods, and music of my closest peeps. It takes work, effort, and a whole lotta listening to be a good friend. So, I’m starting with who I’ve got, and we can go from there. If worst comes to worst, people can be waitlisted.