It is necessary, at this moment, to pause in our reflections on wisdom that I might drop a charmed word or four hundred and fifty five on the topic of friendship.
When in need, there are few greater resources than a gaggle of willing friends. It’s ever so handy to have at one’s disposal a select group of moderately incompetent well-wishers to ease the rocky roads we are all forced to tread from time to needlessly trying time. I suppose that the satisfaction derived from being a Daemon Lord lies not only in the pursuit of carnality, but also in the knowledge that one has a bevy of hyena-men pootling about, jaws aslaver at the prospect of giving you a damned good hand with the dishes.
I recently discovered that I had no friends. Being such manifestly wonderful creations, one could be forgiven for thinking that making friends would be to humans what nest-building is to birds: a task you’d rather some other bastard would undertake for you, so you can simply receive the finished product with little babies waiting to hatch and an irresistable urge to chunder in each others’ mouths, but by dammit something that can well be done with one’s own hands – or wings, as the case may be – and with considerable aplomb, should the need arise. Well, I certainly hope I need not mention that such is not the case. Readers who, having cast an appraising eye over the preceding sentiments, casually evoked somesuch thought: ‘What is the man whinging about? Making friends is like wanking: fast, easy, and satisfying,’ may avert thine eyes now. We are not all Gods walking upon this Earth, able to win true and lifelong friends willy-nilly by sheer force of our numinous nimbi, rampant libidos, and lightning crackling from fingers. It’s damned hard work – especially those of us who, obliged to fulfill certain domestic responsibilities (Earl Grey does not make itself, after all), are unable to venture forth with a cheery smile plastered across the old mug, hugging this prole and that in an orgy of soulmatery. Friends are supposed to be the kind of people who wriggle their disgusting way out of the woodwork at just the right time. Well, do you think any came wriggling my way? It was quite, I can assure you, the opposite: I planted myself on the ground and waited for friends to flock around, frothing with enthusiasm, yet found myself watching three millipedes trundle away in that enragingly pointless fashion of theirs from under the leaves I had disturbed. Millipedes, for God’s sake: even a smelly little blighter with thirty-thousand excess legs and a tendency to coil up like a poo had more friends than I.