In the movies and on TV, the protagonist always has a clique. Cher had her crew. The Pretty Little Liars come as a foursome. Gossip Girl’s Serena and Blair had a constant following of confused looking 30 year-olds in school uniforms and headbands. And if the Grey’s Anatomy lot hadn’t all kept dying, they would have had a pretty tight posse also.
It’s not much better on social media, where a tight knight group of friends tweets backwards and forwards, and the most you can do is favourite the odd joke and wonder. People glory in having found their tribe. Twitter mates become best friends and then bridesmaids.
And you’re watching. If you’re me, at least, that’s what you’re doing. Creepily, enviously, from bed. It’s a bit sad.
Just to be clear, because you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, this is not a pity party, with a table set for one and judgmental waiters glancing from corners.
I am grateful to have lots of friends. But thanks to the fact that I’ve lived all over the world (I know, poor me), they’re far flung and separate. Many of them have never, and will never, meet each other. All these hearts and minds and faces that I love come together only on my computer screen, as my Facebook timeline shows them falling in love and falling off bicycles and falling into horrible arguments one hundred million miles away from me.
It’s not all bad.
I’m never lonely, because there’s always someone awake in some other timezone and willing to tell me about the threesome they had over the weekend.
I’m never bored because my friends are all ages, all nationalities and from all walks of life. Do you have a friend who’s training to become an embalmer? I do.
All this bragging just to say: I am lucky. And I know it.
But what I have is something that doesn’t resemble what I see onscreen, and what I constantly imagine everyone else around me to have: a group. A posse. A crew. A bunch of likeminded people who share houses and worlds and, perhaps most importantly, each other.
And I want it. I really want it. Partially because it must be a good bit fucking easier.
They say that lots of people find their people later on in life, but that doesn’t apply to me because I’ve found mine: writers and political activists and office managers and doctors and students and teachers and lawyers and accountants and people who make biscuits.
All I’m lacking is people who share my people. I’m lacking a tribe.
Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes I’ll introduce two friends from different worlds to one another and I’ll think: yes. You two were meant to know each other, and now, because I introduced you, you do.
So perhaps that’s the way to do it – take it into your own hands by joining the hands of the people who are destined to be friends, but just don’t know it yet. Form your own tribe. Be the spider at the centre of the web, and hope that your friends never learn that they were the flies in your slightly inappropriate analogy.
But oh, for it have to come ready made: it would be so much fucking easier.
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