If Linus were a real friend, would he tell me I look fat in these jeans? What kind of friend would he be? I mean, I met him at Roosevelt Field mall, while shopping. How ironic. But I wonder now, if we went shopping together, would he need to go into every store and touch everything, even if he had no money to spend? He already watches chick flicks with me, so I know he’s not one of those "above all things girl" types who’d start a blog mocking eye cream and shoes. Though I suspect if we were at the movies, he’d hoard the tub of popcorn and eat the good buttered pieces first. Would he answer his phone if he saw it was me on caller ID? Would he get along with my other friends, or would he be too cliquish? You know how friends can be. I bet he’d order the same way each time we went out for sushi, a spicy tuna hand roll to start with a tray of extra sauce for the dipping. He’d roll his eyes at the slivered oranges at the end. He’d eat too much wasabi, and his nose would run, but he’d say, "I sort of like it when that happens." I wonder if he’d be the kind of friend to tell me my breath stinks. I bet he would. That’s what friends do. He’d hand me a bedside mint. "I’ll have one too," he’d say, taking one for the team. "Do you have enough covers?" Very thoughtful friend. But when I’d want a pedicure, he’d refuse. "It’s where I slam my paws down, Klein. Even if you call it a nail buff, I’m not falling for it. A dog’s gotta draw the line somewhere." Then he’d pee, in a line, to prove his point. "Hee hee," he’d add.
I think different friends suit our different moods; we go to different friends for different things. I have one friend who’s great for jean shopping and manicures. She bosses me around, bringing piles of new pairs for me to try, then knows exactly where they should break, sets me up with a proper hem. I’d never go to her for advice, and I can only stand her in small doses, yet I still consider her a friend. I’ve known her for years, but she’s not part of my close-knit confidants. It’s not that she’s incapable of advice, but I have other friends for that, friends who think before speaking.
I’d never phone Alexandra and ask if she wants to walk downtown, while I bring my camera, as she has no patience for that type of thing. I’d call my dear forever friend Smelly for that, and later that day she’d send a thank you note with her favorite photo from the day attached. Yet I can speak with Alexandra for hours and love and adore her, and put her in charge of planning anything, and we talk the same way and think the same things. I turn to Kimberly, a woman who has taped rose quartz to her breast with a band-aid to open her heart chakras, when I need advice on The Suitor. She should be a therapist. To Barbara for updates and philosophical conversation. All of them delight me with the details of their lives, and they help support me through mine. Dulce is my strongest friend who continues to amaze me. Then there are the friends I rarely speak with, yet whenever we do, it’s as if no time has gone by. My pick-up friends. Picking-up where we last left off. We needn’t call or write or keep up on the twirls of our lives; we just step in, as if we already know all the steps.
Friends, like perfume, can also suit a particular mood. Some are dinner friends who don’t pressure you to go out afterward. They’re spicy and sexy, yet warm. Linen napkin friends. There are lighter summer friends who prefer to spend time with you doing creative projects, pot-luck dinners, pottery on Sunday afternoon. Verbena friends. Then there are the classics, of course, the scents you could wear all day long, despite the activity or mood. Your circle. Linus would be a friend in there, and after a while, I’m sure we’d start sharing perfume.