chapter  12
6 Pages

A String Theory of Friendship

WithJay Quinn

To come up with a coherent, thoughtful discussion of friendship proved to be more difficult than I imagined. For me, contemplating the constellation of people in my life whom I could describe as friends was as difficult to explain as the infinity of space or the subquark level of existence. People are simultaneously simple and complex and what makes them attractive or interesting to me is as nearly inexplicable. Friends simply are. They exist as anomalies in the course of all of my human reactions. To think about why some people are differentiated as friends as opposed to simply interchangeable humanoids is to try and grasp at a knowledge of myself as much as it is to understand why those friends like me in return. I struggled with this essay for months. It wasn’t until I was channel surfing one night and happened to linger upon a PBS show about string theory that I found a framework to talk about what friendship means to me.