Zach addresses the Urban Tribe theory

Until this show came up I had never heard of this term.  It brought to mind rather politically incorrect images of roving bands of Italians roaming the streets of Chicago with bows and arrows. 

This might sound ridiculous, but it just goes to show the difference in perspective from someone raised in the suburbs and a die hard city boy.  Out by me the idea of a neighborhood as a cohesive group begins to fade after grade school and dissipates entirely with the ability to drive. 

The suburb where I grew up had remarkably high turnover and I, as one who had lived there all my life (albeit in different neighborhoods), was as close to a townie as anyone was going to get. 

Friends came and went and moved here and there, wherever their parents’ jobs ordered them to go.  I had one friend who was also a tried and true multiple generation St, Charles resident. 

As time went by and we watched more people move in and out this became a bond between us.  We formed our own small tribe.  Now when we cruise the streets of the old town despite my having moved to Chicago there is a bitter sweet sense of ownership. 

As if we have far more right to be there than these masses milling about us. 

When I reflect further on the idea of an Urban tribe, or old neighborhood, close knit community, whatever I would probably have called it.  I assume it must be something akin to the sense that I get when my friend and I.  Spend a Friday night in downtown St. Charles bouncing between bars trying to find one that reminds us of the town as it was when it was just ours. 

What makes me a good friend:  I have no idea.  I, in my more self pitied moments, would say that nothing makes me a good friend and my friends are fools to have mistaken me for one.  But that’s not true.  I have too much respect for my friends to believe them so easily duped.  I am a good friend because I revere friendship. 

As with anyone I have certain lines I cannot cross with my family and remain comfortable.  I also have no significant other, although from what I’ve observed the same holds true as with the family.  But with friends I know I can be open with my weaknesses without fear of reprisal or undue reprimand.  And thusly I return the favor. 

I covet my friendships and hold onto them tightly.  I thusly am there when my services as friend/confidant/backup are needed.  I am a good friend because I expect more from myself in a friendship than I do of my friends.  This is not some weak willed bowing to the designs of others rather I expect more from myself because I can only control myself. 

I cannot ask my friends to bridge any gaps that may arise because they may not have to skills so I trust myself to be the one to reach out.  I trust myself to be the one who can swallow pride. 

This may seem unfair but I am also a good friend because other than my weakest moments I believe that (when you are with friends you love) fair doesn’t enter into it.

Published in: on March 29, 2008 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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