United States

girl who likes flowering trees and cats.
biopic drawn for me by my dear friend "bogsoup"

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"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
C. S. Lewis

Sheer Stubbornness Submits to Societal-Sanctioned Safety (Draft 2)

December 7, 2020

    C. S. Lewis once said, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival" Among this wonderful quote are many others, especially in his book The Four Loves. In that book about four Greek concepts of love, including the concept of Phila. The Greek ancient word "Philia" means brotherly love or friendship. Philosophers studied it along aside from important loves like Agape, Eros, and Storge  (Unconditional godly love, romantic infatuation, and familial bonds.) Support systems of caring friends are integral to somebody's mental health. Not everyone has a religion that brings them peace, not everyone has a significant other. The constant love of a caring family doesn't bless everyone. But those people can find Phila, they can go out and make friends which support and care for each other.  
    I have a solid faith system that brings me joy. I have an incredible and loving family. But now, I know I also have a wonderful and supportive friend group. And how do I know this? 
Because of COVID-19.
    Rain droplets fell from the school’s roof and pooled on my upturned chin. They kissed me with cool wetness. Then they slithered down my throat and landing on the satin ribbon tied tight around my neck.  
    The crescent moon was as curled and perfect as if it was Sailor Moon’s headband emblem. It looked like an anime that night. The sky was dark-dark blue save for a little turquoise circle around the silver shining moon. Leaves crunched underfoot, and the air smacked of a fresh autumnal feeling. On our way to the dance we passed not one-not two- but three deer.
    One for each of us. Me, Nicole, and Gwen. 
    Cute, knee-length dresses, chill- shoes, pretty hair, and….  We'd all given up halfway and wore sweatshirts. Technically, I was wearing a jean jacket. The point still stood that we did not understand outer formal wear. This amused all our parents considerably. 
    Technically, technically, I had dragged my other two friends to this dance with only a week's heads up. It’s possible they ran out of time, also possible they didn’t care.
    We went to Homecoming, ate food, took pictures, admired the fairy lights, and shook the bars on the school doors to pretend we were convicts. We also sang the first two verses of “Fly Me to the Moon” an unhealthy amount of times.
Nicole plugged in her own music into her phone and swayed on her feet. Gwen twirled ‘till she couldn’t stand straight. I copied her. After we made our feet ache and ears bleed, we went home. 
    Less than six months later, the world derailed.
    Gwen and I and Nicole were at a friend's house playing DND when her mother got the call. No more school. For two weeks. Nice, we all said to each other. A cool break. Shame that there are that many cases. The two-week quarantine will calm things down. We’ll flatten the curve. It'll all be okay! 
    Our hostess's sister was talking about a prom dress she bought that weekend. Ooh boy. 
    The calendar pages fell on the ground. My headspace was out of bounds. I spent a lot of time writing and reading. But something was...up.
    Every week I’d hang out with my friends once or twice. Now? Nothing. I laid on my floor or my bed, cranking music up and drowning out everything. Didn’t feel much obliged to do much else. 
    In the reasonable, practical part of my brain, I knew I was lucky. No one I knew had gotten sick, and our family's income was stable. What we were doing was fantastic: our country, our world, was banding together to keep everyone from getting sick. That was good!
    In the unreasonable, annoying part of my brain, I knew COVID-19 had zapped up my energy as if it was some sci-fi villain’s doom machine. 
     One day I was texting Gwen and Nicole while being unproductive and irritated with the world. 
If you’re lonely, you can always join forums online!
Multiplayer games- you can friend people there and we can play together!  If you don’t have the money, I’ll pay for them…
If you miss other humans' voices, there are always podcasts.
Do you need money for a new mic? I got it! 
Wanna see a picture of my cat? That’ll cheer you up. 
We can mail each other cute little postcards and pictures!
    They’d never taken care of me before-I’d never needed it. I was the one who found them a lunch table, who shoved the people who shoved them, who talked to teachers for them...
    This was weird. Wrong even. 
    But I had to deal with it. And honestly? They knew what they were doing while I didn't. I needed them. That took a bit of getting used to, but now that I have “gotten used to it”...
    I appreciate them-us- way more.
    It’s impossible for one person to always be prepared. It’s a logical fallacy to think otherwise. As Benjamin Franklin said, "We must, indeed, all hang together or most assuredly, we'll all hang separately." He was talking more about committing treason against an oppressive country and starting a revolution. However, this quote is versatile. Statistics show mental health has been decreasing in recent years, especially among youth. People need to band together and share support and love for each other. Especially among friend groups! That is why the ancient Greeks and C. S. Lewis branded Phila as one of the most important emotions, why we named Philadelphia after the word.Loving and caring for each other is integral to our survival. And COVID-19 showed me that first hand. 
    That’s gotta count for something. Right?
I'm not sure if I need citations because a lot of the info in this I've looked and researched in multiple places, and drew my own conclusions from them ages ago. 


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1 Comment
  • anemoia (#words)

    ok. i loved this. from the c.s. lewis quote (never heard that one, but so glad i did now!) and the greek words for love (because i'm all about making those very important distinctions) and the theme of friendship and solidarity and the ironic suspense you created... brilliant.

    5 months ago