What’s True Friendship?

Approximately four months ago, an acquaintance of mine came to me with a secret: he wants to be a she. While I’ve dealt with many secrets, this one seemed to rise above the rest, to require an expert handling with advice on a topic on which I’m not informed.

Three days ago, that same person, rather a good friend than an acquaintance came to me with another secret: I saved his life. Through instantly accepting his secret and never once questioning him, I’d given him, unknowingly, the support he needed to come out to his other friend, to grant them a glimpse of his true identity veiled behind alcohol, drugs and an inordinate amount of Starbucks.

This made me question one aspect friendship: the truth in it. How many people actually tell their best friends everything? How many people divulge their deepest, darkest secrets? I’m not talking about “Oh, yea, I sing in the shower to my soap” type of ideas, but rather “I sometimes wonder how much of my meds it would take to OD”, the serious secrets we think of as flaws, that separate us from the group in supposedly negative ways.

I personally only tell my “best friends” as little as possible. Perhaps this could be called unhealthy… I’d rather call it human. Only one of my friends- my boyfriend- actually knows what goes on in my mind on a daily basis, can read my moods flawlessly and see the masks breaking behind my eyes. So, if we can’t tell our best friends our secrets, are they our best friends? Is the friendship true? Or is it a travesty of a friendship, an ideal that we pretend to be actual? How many true friends do we really have? I have one. And for that, I consider myself lucky.

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