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"It's not that I didn't like him. I did. Like him, I mean. But finding someone to be friends with is a lot like finding someone to fall in love with, you know? Sparks are important. Even with friends. Otherwise, you'd be friends with someone whose company feels a lot like work. And really, that's not something I want to get into right now. I just can't be friends with someone who feels like a lot of work."
"But don't friendships, like all relationships, require work?"
"They do, but not at the beginning. You have to start with a spark, that's how it begins."
"It sounds eerily similar to the notion of finding 'The One', don't you think?"
"Not really. The difference here is that sometimes you're lucky enough to find ten, or a hundred, people you can have friendship sparks with. Or none. The idea of a friendship spark has yet to be destroyed by movies and romance novels and converted into a pseudo-religion which requires 'faith' and waiting for the 'One True Love'. It's just a true thing, for me. You can't be friends with everybody."
"Do you believe that friendships last forever?"
"Not all. Maybe some. People change, and whatever connection or spark you had once can disappear. It's the same with love, you know what I mean, the romantic kind. They can disappear. Even if you never want them to, the possibility is always there."
"But aren't friendships supposed to be different from that?"
"It is, in a way, but it's also the same, at least for those types of friendships defined by something more than just a similarity of traits. I'm not a big believer of the idea that friendships aren't supposed to be work. They require work, just like everything else."
"But I thought you believed in sparks."
"Yes, but only at the beginning of a friendship. What comes after will be defined by the level of commitment you put into the relationship."
"Have you ever regretted being friends with anybody?"
"No, not really. You?"
"I can't think of anyone offhand."
"Well, the Zen way of looking at friendships that fail to work would be to think that everything, and everyone, has a time and place. That there's a reason they came into your life, or left."
"That's not a very helpful philosophy."
"I know, I'm just saying."
"But practically pointless."
"Well, not entirely. It doesn't help with fixing friendships, only at accepting loss. And at the end of the day, that's the most that we can do, you know, to deal with the reality of the present. We accept what is lost. We pick up the pieces and move on."