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"How drearily monotonous must be the lives of people who, from… - delta_november

Nov. 30th, 2006

09:54 am

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"How drearily monotonous must be the lives of people who, from indolence or timidity, drive in their carriages straight to the doors of friends whom they have got to know without having first dreamed of knowing them, without ever dearing, on the way, to stop and examine what arouses their desire!"

- Within a Budding Grove, Marcel Proust, translated by Moncrieff and Kilmartin, page 934.

At this point in the novel the narrator is at the beach, desperately infatuated with a group of young women who he sees walking most days. He would love to meet them, but between his shyness and the mores of the day he can do nothing but watch.

This got me to thinking about how I came to have my friends. There are two ("Ja" and "L" for those keeping score) about whom I can say that I wanted to be friends before I was friends. A school environment (highschool and undergrad, respectively) is certainly conducive to this. One can spend long boring classes imagining what a person might be like without really having spoken to them, but the daily repetition gives an opportunity to finally make a link.

My other friends were largely met in environments where one communicates as soon as one is in the presence of the other. Thus we both climb the friendship curve together in a more-or-less symmetric fashion.