Well…they're not to be found at work. They're not the ones I meet up with after work. They're not blood relations. They're not even to be found loitering in my Vox neighborhood (Hey! You kids: get off my lawn!)
My dear friends aren't even animate. They don't converse with me, yet they comfort me. I can't count them as family members, yet they are always there in times of sickness.
These are not useless, fey, brittle, fair-weather friends. When I have no need of them, they can still be found waiting…lonely on their shelves, they are always patient.
But when the time comes, when the time is one of sickness – of congestion, of yacking up substances of an unyieldy consistency, of a sinus riot, of coughs that explode out of your chest before ending in a drawn-out wheeze, of a head that aches because somehow a brick has been shoved up your nose blocking things up quite conveniently – my dear friends are never far away.
Bringing me fast relief, comfort, joy, and sometimes a little buzz…
they make the pain vanish in a penetrating, piercing vapor.
So, if you are sick, and in need of a friend, let me tell you this: your local pharmacy is better than any lonely hearts column, any bar or any eHarmony-type dating service for finding a friend that will stick to you when you haven't breathed, washed, eaten, slept or dressed properly in two weeks. (In other words, with the exception of her two dear friends, Aubrey will not be accepting visitors until she can wear lipstick again.)