MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 70
Article views: 4
Latest Badges:

View all Tyronehster's badges.

Old Friends

13 November 2012, 08:45

Old Friends
Old Friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
Newspaper blowin' through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old 
Old Friends
Winter companions the old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends
Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy...
Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
time it was
It was a time
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you

Listening to this Simon and Garfunkel classic got me thinking about friends, and what friendship means.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family is the way the old saying goes. This is patently untrue, as anyone has discovered when a friend is in need of some sort. You go to the same effort to help them out as you would your family, or you’re no friend at all.

Friendship is that unique state of being able to sit together for hours without saying a word, or pouring out your heart, or sharing your grief, or painting your dreams. I’m in the fortunate position of having married my best friend thirty-four years ago, and the friendship has deepened over the years.

The wonderful thing about friendship is the qualities friends bring out in each other. Friends allow you to be yourself in totality, while being someone else as well, because we react differently to different friends and they in turn behave as a catalyst. Your friends are different when they’re alone with you, than they are in a group. Everyone seems to bring out something that only they are capable of doing.

Turning briefly to the Bible, Jonathan loved David so dearly that he defied his father, King Saul, and helped David make his getaway. When Jonathan was killed in battle, David mourned for him as he would have a child.

Friends share interests, or perhaps none at all. Friendship is one of the unexplained marvels of the human condition. And it extends beyond humans, of course. When you’re sick and sad, the state where you’re beyond human help, a cat is preferable to a dog. A cat will lie on the bed with you, where a dog doesn’t know how to moderate its behaviour. People will usually talk, and that’s not what you need right then.

A dog is a friend that will never leave you, unlike a cat. He will lay down his life for you, because you are, in essence, his god. You may regard him as a friend, but he regards you as something far greater.

It has been discovered by entomologists, that ants form friendships, and they have seen ants go frantic, trying to free another ant from a spider web. Ichthyologists have observed the same thing in fish. Fish swimming in pairs and going frantic when the other is eaten.

Friendship is a marvel, and it’s a marvel no-one can explain. There is no reason for it and it serves no purpose. I have friends who are atheists, so it’s not necessarily common interests, and we have hugely entertaining conversations. I have friends who are Christians although, strangely enough, fewer than you would think.

Steel sharpens steel, so I have better conversations with my unbelieving friends than with my Christian friends. They keep me on my toes, so to speak, and keep me honest, because no-one picks up on your fault quicker than an unbeliever, even if he is your friend.

Friends are a large part of what makes life worthwhile, and help you over humps that someone more closely connected could not. They know you well enough to know when you need a shoulder, and when you need a kick in the bum. And are willing to offer either.

Friends grow old together, and can bicker like old married couples, because if two people get together, there will be misunderstanding and friction.

But friends, in the end, are just that.


Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Roger Mayes
Rabada broke the rules, he must a...

No individual must ever be allowed to be greater than the game. Rabada broke the rules, and deserves his punishment. Read more...

0 comments 5446 views
A counter move to Rabada's suspen...

I strongly suspect there lurks the influence of the Australians behind it. In order to properly announce our disillusionment with this sad and sorry saga, I have a suggestion. Read more...

0 comments 6544 views
Submitted by
Dave Patrick Bills
Water saving mania unnecessary

There is absolutely no need for this mania about saving every drop of water when technology has provided an abundance of fresh drinking water around the world. Read more...

0 comments 1686 views
Submitted by
Better the devil you know...

Let's not forget that Ramaphosa himself, sat idly by while the nation was being sent down a one way path of destruction under his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Read more...

0 comments 864 views
Submitted by
Chabana Chabana
The commonages: a launching pad f...

The policy on expropriation without compensation should not be conveniently used to disrupt the economy, particularly food security. Hence the need to use the commonages program as a launching pad to introduce our people in various sectors.  Read more...

0 comments 1049 views
Submitted by
Readers vote for their 2018 SA Ca...

The 2018 SA Car of the Year has been revealed. Check out how the cream of South Africa's motoring crop fared in our annual Readers' poll! Read more...

0 comments 2896 views


RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2018 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.