It's not that I'm naturally violent, but being accosted can be a little threatening, so I'd advise you to tread carefully before attempting such a manoeuvre - I scare easily.
Yep, since I've become more reflective (all prompted by a professional course I attended in 1999) and began to devote some processing power to such things, I have considered myself to be the kind of person who doesn't make friends particularly easily, and who doesn't therefore have a large group of people I can call 'friends'. Indeed, I've come to think that the word has become over-used, and is now a label for people who are merely tenuously connected. I know a few people (whom I don't regard as friends, before you ask) who instantly refer to anyone they have met and spoken with for more than two minutes, as a friend.
This morning, however, while waiting for the neurons to start firing in the random 'potato-potato' order that they usually assume, a thought landed on a receptor and took hold. Friends. Facebook. List. Have a look. And so, I did.
I was quietly astonished.
If, following the trauma of my physical assault in the street , you had the gumption to press home your questioning (although why you'd be so bloody interested, I have no idea) and ask me how many friends I have, I'd probably, feeling somewhat cornered have come out with a figure of perhaps a dozen people on the planet. My Facebook friends list, however, says otherwise. Now, before you cock a knowing eyebrow at me, let me assure you that I don't take the view that everyone on my Facebook list is in actuality a friend in my personal sense of the word, but nonetheless I was surprised by how many people I consider to be trustworthy, fun, warm, generous, loving, honest - or any combination of these qualities, any of which fall within my personal 'friend' definition.
Once I weeded out family members, I started counting people that I genuinely relate to. I got bored around the number thirty. Which made me sit back and blow out my cheeks. Wow. I'd never have got to that number in my head - just never. And added to this are the people who aren't Facebook users (yes there are still some out there) whom I consider to be my friends. Holy cow (no, that's not one of them - I am not friends with any bovines). I mean; wow.
What began as an idle thought has changed. it's become a life moment, a thought which has the potential to alter the way in which I perceive my world. While I'm not naïve enough to assume that all these people would include me on a list of their friends, it's my experience and perspective of them which has gone largely unnoticed by me, and which will change.
For years now I have jokingly (well, half-jokingly) referred to myself as a grumpy bastard, and while that is to some degree accurate, it would seem that rather more people than I realized are happy to be associated with - and to regularly communicate with - me. There must be a reason why this is so.
Some people must like me...as I said; wow.