I have always wondered where lost friendships go. A reference I discovered in a copy of the Necronomicon, which I consulted in the Library of Babel, led to the discovery that most lost friendships eventually find their way to what physicists call five dimensional space. Here, some of them end up in libraries where they are frequently cataloged by age, quality, intensity and texture. The rarest specimens are matched lost friendships, and these are avidly sought after by collectors, museums and university libraries. Students spend endless hours pouring over these lost friendships for insights into the human condition, and ways to inoculate people against the angst and pain of loss. These studies have become increasingly relevant as it has now become politically incorrect to cultivate deep friendships unless they are for the purposes of long term pair bonding and reproduction. It is generally thought that nobody should suffer unduly from the loss of a friendship, and instead, everyone should have numerous low intensity friendships so nobody feels excluded.
University administrators have been busy changing codes of behavior so that students can only appear with two or more friends so as not to give the impression of partiality. Even language appears to be changing to accommodate this new-found sensitivity. It is no longer correct to talk about my ‘friend’, only about my ‘friends’. Legislators are looking for ways to protect people against the potential abuse of deep friendships, which, by revealing vulnerabilities and weaknesses, opens up the possibility of emotional exploitation. As a result, lost friendship archives are being mined by lawyers for use in future trials. As a humorous aside, a group of theologians at the Southern Evangelical Seminary was caught debating the subject of how many lost friendships can fit on the head of a pin, and Congress is seriously considering a law to prohibit tandem bicycle rentals without proof of marriage.
Philosophers have been treating the subject with more respect, for example, trying to capture the phenomenological experience of a lost friendship, documenting how the various elements fit together, and how they eventually find themselves returned to the friendship pool for recycling. So far the lost friendship field has resisted the idea of extending the concept to include pets, trees, places and inanimate objects, but it seems inevitable that sooner or later the incentives for intellectual imperialism will become too strong to resist. Philosophical ontologists have been exploring the nature of lost friendships, are they material or non-material, are they an example of epiphenomenalism or biological hypophenomenalism?
The future seems bleak. There has been a wave of attempted suicides following the onset of depression caused by friendship loss. As a result psychiatrists have been experimenting with powerful new drugs to find ways of expunging selected memories. Some lawyers have tried to take advantage of the situation by blaming the victim’s former friends, accusing them of thinking too much about their prior relationship, and somehow tapping into pathways not yet fully understood. It is thought that the first class action lawsuit on behalf of friendship loss victims cannot be too long in coming. Finally, the Government claims it has successfully infiltrated a small group of students and anarchists who have been meeting secretly to rediscover the experience of deep friendships. The subversive nature of this behavior has been recognized by the Government, which has announced that these groups will be subject to the full force of the anti-terrorism laws.
“The sword wounds the body, but words wound the soul. These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends.” Zechariah