Ideal Friends(II)

Original Text:

Original Author: Chen Sai, the leader writer of Lifeweek

Loneliness promotes friendship

In the process of interviewing and writing the series of cover stories, we have an interesting discovery that those who have deepest affection to Friends watch this teleplay in the most lonely moment.

For example, X went through the most lonely time with the teleplay Friends. At that time, she was single, as a reporter going around the world, while she was alone no matter where she went. She said, this teleplay meat all desire and imagination towards the most wonderful life at that time. Once sitting down in front of the television with a glass of wine, she could pretend that six persons in the teleplay were her old friends. The warmth and goodness were so close.

How does it feel to be lonely?

X said loneliness means you had no one to share something with like sadness, joy or desire. It’s just like the moment you saw frozen sparkling wine, while there is a lay of beautiful drop of water on the ektexine of glass, and you have no one to share with.

For H, Fiends was just a situation comedy. She didn’t think too much about the friendship or relationship in the teleplay. But she said, without Friends, she couldn’t go through the most difficult eight months in her life. As just arriving in Canada, getting a divorce and her kid not around, the only thing she could do was to get the degree. So it is no exaggeration for her to say it. She printed the dialogues, listened and repeated them one by one. In her small house, there were a bunch of unfolded paper materials on the desk, which she wrote and made her miserable. When the life was really hard, she would watch an episode of Friends and laughed out unconsciously. She did still remember those days. “Life is like this, which you go through unconsciously.”

I’m a fan of Friends. When I first watched it, it was in 2003, the special time when SARS attacked the whole Beijing city. Once I hung out secretly and couldn’t come back to school, I had to lodge in my friend’s vacant room. Then my good friend expressly moved to accompany me. She was from Canton, enjoying cooking, and we cooked, made soup and read at home, then watched Friends in the bed every night. At that time, we were early 20s, and it was the first time for us to be in a kind of anxiety of diffuse death. It was Friends that made me realize the rarity of being alive for the first time, especially the joy of friendship.

Someone says, friendship is the detoxicant of loneliness, on the other hand, friendship also can be the catalyst of friendship. When someone feels lonely, there comes a strong desire from the heart longing for being seen, taken in and loved. That kind of desire is possibly similar to a kind of survival instinct, like hunger and thirst, which pushes him to find the similar and love, and reestablish the social bond.

Now X has a wonderful family and a lovely daughter, which means “she has realized part of the ideal of that year”. H got the degree, and returned to China, establishing her ideal career. Sitting in her beautiful office, she looks graceful and mature, as if she takes in charge of her life adequately. But once in a while, she takes out her smartphone to watch the short clip of Friends. As one episode costing too much time, it’s quite appropriate for her time. She seems to be a little girl stealing candy.

About me, as the time goes by, I can’t remember how many times that I’ve watched this teleplay. And the friend watching the teleplay with me moved to another city. Gradually, our connection was getting less. The last time when we met was on my wedding day in 10 years ago. She came all the way to be my bridesmaid. The next day I drove her to the station, then we said “farewell and taking good care of yourself” to each other. Somehow, seeing the bus off, I had a premonition that we would drift apart and not be so close like twins. But it seems to be hard to explain what happened between us.