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a textured fabric
simple acknowledgement
by sloan b. bayles

Perhaps it was the way it seemed only she understood the seemingly ill-timed joke you made after answering the math question wrong when the teacher called on you in class that day. Maybe it was the silly inside joke that you long ago forgot the actual origins of, but the fond memories of the joke itself and the giggles that accompanied it linger on with the both of you. It may even be a forged alliance against the ass kissing brown noser at work that is so obvious with his actions and commentary that it absolutely amazes you that it seems only the two of you see “the truth”.

It isn’t usually something purposefully sought out with this or that particular person. It can be something that just clicks right away, the way something simply feels right. Without forethought. Without ulterior motives. Something that is synallagmatic. Something that even with bumps and bends along the way still seems to run as smooth as silk.

What I’m referring to are friendships. Many songs and poems have been written on the subject of friendship. To attempt to give them all mention would take forever. In pondering all of the ones that come to mind there appears to be obvious common themes. To “be there” for the person, whether in spirit or in person, seems to be a must. To cope with moods, and understand needs. To bring joy and laughter. To give support, loyalty, trust, understanding, clarity, and sometimes even advice (and not be offended if it’s not taken). Being ready and willing to listen, even if it happens to be 2 a.m., can be an important thing. Being comfortable enough to say what’s really on your mind, and of strong enough belief in each other that even if what’s said isn’t necessarily what the other wants to hear, that’s still okay. Having a good sense of humor is a personal must. In short, friendship takes some work from both parties, but hopefully it is always undertaken willingly and with a feeling of importance.

To say that a friendship cannot even be initiated without some degree of commonality seems unequivocal. These commonalties may be sparse or plentiful. Degrees of friendship seem to be common as well. There are the people we are neighbors with, work with, shop with, and just hang out with, but in my experience there seems to be only a few we truly bond with. A mutual bond of friendship, and all that it entails. The overly circulated e-mail that describes different reasons and seasons of friendship does have a ring of truth in it. Every friendship adds something to our lives that may not exist without that person having touched our life. Whether the friendship lasts six months, five years or our lifetime, we walk away with a lesson learned.

The people who accept you, warts and all, add a texture and color to your life that cannot be duplicated or simulated by any other means.


A native Californian still dealing with the culture shock of having lived in Louisiana. I happily escaped to North Carolina. Wife, mother, and corporate world worker bee who is convinced all three of these have lead to my premature gray hair. The only thing I write professionally are honey-do lists.

more about sloan b. bayles


a letter to my son
by sloan b. bayles
topic: general
published: 12.30.99

and i don't mean wonder
by sloan b. bayles
topic: general
published: 12.30.99


daniel castro
8.25.02 @ 2:51p

All in all, you only true friends are only a handfull. The ones that you consider to be your brothers and/or sisters 'till the day you die. So far i have only found 3 of those people. Knowing the fact that there are still more friendships like these to come, makes it all worthwhile.

tracey kelley
8.25.02 @ 11:20p

Awww, did you write this after our 4 hour conversation the other night? :>

"Me! Me! It's all about me!"

I am very proud of you.

sloan bayles
8.25.02 @ 11:50p

Of course dear, it's been "all about you" for 18 years now :) Let's just say I was inspired by you.

adam kraemer
8.27.02 @ 10:24a

Shameless plug: I wrote a column about this (though a little more tongue-in-cheek) a few months ago. Because we have different types of friends, too. I forget how many I defined - there's at least those you tell everything to and those you don't.

I have a friend who believes that at any given moment in your life, the friends you have reflect the energy you need to exist in this world. And that if one of them moves on (goes to college, for example, and you lose touch), you will instinctually seek out another to fill that person's missing energy.

tracey kelley
8.27.02 @ 11:51a

And what energy to you provide said friend?

adam kraemer
8.27.02 @ 1:40p

I assume that's "do" - you provide your own form of energy. The idea that there's one universal energy and everyone taps into it in their own way.

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