Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Keep Your Friends Close, Enemies Closer

On a typical day, I’m quite jovial. In fact, the only time I’m not laughing is when someone pisses me off. Even then, I’ll find some way to make a joke of it. Laughter has always been my coping mechanism and I can laugh at just about anything, except rape and war. Even the big day before my hearing, I was cracking up…conjuring up images of what it would be like if I were to go totally insane in court and start foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog with a lazy eye. That night my sisters and I laughed until we cried.

I was born with a bad temper and impatience. It usually takes a while for me to lose my temper, but when I do, I become fearless. A raging fire and nothing and no one can stand in my way. My impatience means that I’m naturally inclined to want everything done yesterday. Aside from those two character traits, I’m a fairly easy-going person. I’m not picky and don’t have demands or expectations from my friends. I’m also not judgmental or petty, and I’m the kind of person that will always try to make my friend feel more comfortable. It doesn’t take much to please me and the only thing I require from any and all my relationships is honesty.

Now my past is littered with all kinds of horrible, good and great friendships. I’ve had friends that fit in every category of the good, the bad and the ugly, as well as the spaces in between them and my experiences with them have been one hell-of-a learning curve. For this reason, I’m generally very wary of certain people. And it doesn’t help that I can read people really well since my bullshit radar is always working overtime, sorting the genuine people from the fraudsters.

However, I’ve found that knowing too much can sometimes be a curse. It can be detrimental to any budding relationship because it leaves no room for pretty rose-coloured illusions or ego-puffing fabrications. It hasn’t helped my love life at all because I’m always seeing the other person for who he really is, and not who he’s pretending to be with me. Sometimes I may even like who he really is, but the fact that he doesn’t like who he is puts a damper on things.

That said, I’ve taken the expertise I’ve gained through my interactions with people and compiled a little list. In the friendship chain, there are several types of species that live in co-habitation. Some of the characteristics displayed by these species are determined by the genetic marker, whilst others are purely intrinsic manifestations of what we like to call our ‘personalities’. The friendship chain can be structured and determined in two ways namely;

1. The Nature Chain: which include the categories of Parasite, Grazer and Predator; and
2. Symbiosis: featuring the categories of Commensalism, Mutualism, Parasitism and their derivatives.

The Butterflies
Category: Grazer
Relationship type: Mutualism
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet my fair share of butterflies, flitting about making their way through the world, doing their own thing. They are great friends because they are naturally good natured people who are pure of heart and have a positive and pleasant outlook on life. They are friendly and accept people for who they are. They rarely judge and are happy to just be, without wanting anything from the friendship in return. You can have great conversations with Butterflies because they’re open and accessible and give freely of themselves, their souls. They’re not too inhibited or opinionated and if they are, they keep their opinions to themselves. Naturally respectful creatures, you’ll rarely find a Butterfly in a dark or somber mood because they take life in their stride. However, their good nature may be taken advantage of by those with more sinister intentions because of their passivity. They are trustworthy and loyal friends and both parties will benefit from the friendship.

The Deer
Category: Grazer
Relationship type: Mutualism/Commensalism
The Deer are those nonchalant creatures that don’t give two fucks about the world. They’re less sociable and colder then The Butterflies. They also tend to be emotionally vacant, and graze their way through life ‘just chilling’. They are good friends because they cannot summon enough energy to care about petty things. Deer are the kind of friends that will engage in conversations or issues without getting too involved. They also can’t be bothered to gossip about it later on because frankly, they don’t care. The Deer’s loyalties lie with no one and they’re always the neutral party. They’re also the least passionate from all the classifications. They’re less outspoken and blunt then The Dogs, but more frank and candid then The Butterflies. Either one party is likely to benefit from the friendship with the other remaining indifferent, or in some cases, both parties will benefit from the friendship.

The Dogs
Category: Grazer/Predator
Relationship type: Mutualism/Commensalism
Fiercely loyal in nature, Dogs are great friends because they are honest. You will always know where you stand with a Bitch, they don't beat around the bush and have no qualms with telling it like it is. But for what Dogs lack in terms of tact and diplomacy, they more than make up for in love and friendship. They can be passive one moment, and aggressive the next, marking their territory, protecting their loved ones. Bitches are friends you have for life, the kind you can count on in any situation. Just call on them, and they’ll be there, ready and waiting to either give you a shoulder to cry on or bite the head off the transgressor. Not one to be taken for granted, Bitches like reciprocity. Both parties will benefit if the relationship is based on reciprocity, or if it is clear that there are no expectations in the relationship. They are usually hilarious company, a little hot headed and filled with passion, but if you can handle the heat, then the kitchen is your pearl baby!

The Maggots
Category: Grazer/Parasite
Relationship type: Commensalism/Parasitic
Maggots are the suckers and hypocrites of society. The ones who eat their friend’s shit because they are too insecure about who they are to actually stand up and defend themselves; then at the same time gossip about said friend. They’d be great friends if they weren’t ass creepers. They build their identities around the host friend, the leader of the pack because they don’t have enough personality to stand out independently and individually in a crowd. Sometimes they are so insecure, that they even adopt the host friends characteristics and traits, likes and dislikes. Their unhealthy association with the dominant host friend stunts their emotional and psychological growth. This association however, also benefits the Maggot in terms of social class and status. They are not the most reliable of people due to their fragile emotional states and the duality of their nature. Either one party is likely to benefit from the friendship with the other remaining indifferent, or one of the parties will be getting the short end of the stick.

The Rats
Category: Grazer/Parasite
Relationship type: Commensalism/Parasitic/Metabiotic
The Rats differ from the Maggots in that they are conniving assholes even though, at the core, they have good intentions. Rats are always looking after their own…their families or the little groups they’re associated with. So they will commit heinous acts, but it’s always in aid of ‘a greater purpose’. Think of the Mafia and the lengths they’ll go to, to provide for their families. Most Rats usually have some sort of gripe with the world at large, often believing that they’re superior and entitled to that which they claim unlawfully. They operate Metabiotically and have no qualms about claiming rights on things that are not their own. Rats are not the greatest friends on earth, unless you’re in the clique. They are unreliable, selfish, fickle, materialistic, overambitious bastards and don’t care who they have to step on to get to the top. Either one party is likely to benefit from the friendship with the other remaining indifferent, or one party will benefit from the friendship while the other pays the price.

The Snakes
Category: Predator/Parasite
Relationship type: Parasitic
Unfortunately, I know waaay too many Snakes and they are the bane of my existence. The worst of the lot. They’re those people who pretend to be your friend, or are on friendly terms in your face, but behind your back it’s a different story. They usually want to know everything about you, all the latest news and gossip, but aren’t willing to divulge any information about themselves because they’ll most likely use the acquired information against you to get what they want. They are evasive, secretive and pathological liars. Snakes are also pure takers in the friendship, and even when they give, they expect something in return. They will never do anything for anyone, not without looking to benefit in some way themselves. They’re also the most narcissistic and selfish of all the classifications and are usually attracted to people they can manipulate. These people are usually self-destructive and poisonous to everyone they come into contact with and are front-runners in the category of most likely to be murdered. The Snake will always benefit from the relationship, at the expense of their prey, I mean friend.

The Leeches
Category: Parasite
Relationship type: Parasitic/Phoretic/Inquilinitic
What do you get when you cross a Maggot and a Snake? Why, a Leech of course. These so-called friends will latch onto anything and anyone they can to get ahead. To them, its all about the Benjamins and every other currency you have. Phoretic friends are those friends that only ever want to be around you when you have a car or can drive them around. Inquilinitic friends are those friends that pitch up for an overnight stay and end up staying years or worse still, come to ‘depend’ on you out of sheer laziness. They are both pathetic and cunning creatures and love to play the ‘victim’ so that they can get their targets to help them out of pity. They play on the emotions of the na├»ve and are always scheming their way through life. Their friends are never really their friends, just people that are willing to give them what they want, thereby enabling their parasitic behavior. They will suck the life out of you, literally.

The Vultures
Category: Predator/Parasite
Relationship type: Metabiotic/Parasitic
Vultures are what you get when you cross between Rats and Snakes. They are also takers, hunters, but unlike The Rats, there’s no ‘greater purpose’ and every act is purely egocentric. They have no conscience and are not loyal to anyone but themselves. Vultures are not happy with having the first prize and will screw over everyone they come into contact with for the second, third and every other consolation prize as well. They will think nothing of stealing ideas and passing them off as their own, or just using people to get what they want. They are better than Snakes in that they won’t even bother to pretend to be your friend. Vultures are the assholes of the bunch mostly because they are so insecure and need to prove themselves to the world. But it’s not approval from others they seek. They seek a sense of superiority…status and power. They usually die with millions in the bank, hundreds of regrets and no friends.

There are so many more classifications I can think of…and cross classifications, because like I’ve said before, people are dynamic in nature and often encompass many different traits that’s difficult to ‘box’ or classify in one single category. And for some it’s not enough to just be fucking Snakes, they have to be Swine’s too. But this is all I have for now.

Remember, be the type of friend that you would want in your life.


  1. What about pure predators? There is no such thing as a tame predator, you know - only a well fed one.

    I like your list - then again, I like you, Azra. Ah, if I was twenty years younger...

  2. Love the analogies and analyses! You should sumbit to a magazine!

  3. LL - You do get pure predators, like Gold Diggers. We can call them the Preying Mantis' of society lol. Thanks for the comps :)

    DD - lol, it's still incomplete though, there are a few more festering in my mind.

  4. Mash - You're half Deer, half Peacock. I haven't done my Peacock analogy yet :P