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... It made me think about the ones I left behind in hometowns and cities further north, the ones I miss desolately, especially when it’s 3am and I’m coming unstuck. Or when things are going bad – or good – and I need someone to be ready with a celebratory-commiseratory Jack’n’coke and a Gunners album cued up at the ready. When I need someone who laughs in my face when I try to intimidate them, who makes me cry when they cry, who can quote, verbatim, the stupidest things we’ve ever said or done, who will sit up until sunrise, chain smoking and talking about the history of rap music.

And the other thing about us, about why the people who love us are good. Because they say yes, they always listen, nod, accept, laugh – they’re always open and hopeful, aiming for collective happiness, not driven to bitching by boredom. They’re honest, and they’re honest about who they love, who they are, and what they can’t stand. They’re honest about what they might not know, and they humbly share what they do. They try to avoid harming anyone or anything else, they avoid misery, conflict, and ordering other people around; they have no sense of entitlement; they are polite, self-deprecating, and they share – both joy and burdens. They like dogs, art, the ocean, skateboarding, music, books, drinking, freedom. They almost never talk about real estate, insurance, celebrities or income tax. They’re fuck-ups, too, selfish, sometimes, but they’re hard to beat. They're amazing, unparalleled, and I miss them and they know exactly who they are.