copyright © 2005 by Adam Hahn

Three Short Monologues on the Subject of Friendship
by Adam Hahn


Adam reads the monologues on the following pages. He addresses each to a different member of the audience, to whom he hands the page as he finishes.


I am reading a book. It is about syphilis, which provides a rather elegant metaphor for being your friend.

Your friendship is often undetected in the early stages, is characterized by odd skin lesions, and can eventually drive its victims mad.

There are at least three flaws in this metaphor I have not yet reconciled:
1. I am your friend, but I am not infected with syphilis.
2. I do not believe our friendship is caused by spirochetes.
3. A syphilis infection is typically transmitted through sexual intercourse. Since the day I met you, I have regretted our friendship not beginning in the same way.

Please don't bite me.

I know you haven't bitten me, yet, but you look like you want to.

Please don't.

Stop looking at me like that. Like you want to bite me--knock it off.

Please don't bite me.

Everything you do with your body and your face convinces me of your desire. I am certain you are preparing right now to begin biting.

If that is what you are thinking, please think of something else.

I am not food. Please do not put apply your teeth to any part of me.

I know what you're thinking. I know that at this moment I am nothing more to you than prey. You will amuse yourself with my cries for help, and then you will taste my blood and eat my flesh until your abdomen is swollen and heavy.

Please don't.

Now I am afraid that you didn't originally plan to bite me at all, but that I have now planted the idea in your fertile, ravenous mind.

I am more afraid that my pleas for mercy are now the only things delaying the inevitable biting.

I am afraid to stop speaking.

Whenever we are together, I am afraid.

We have always said that we were best friends, so I decided to prove it.

I needed a way to describe friendship mathematically. I defined friendship, f, as a function of leisure time we spend together, meals we share, non-work e-mails sent and received, and a few other parameters representing various friendly activities.

Here, it'll make more sense if you read the program I wrote. You see, I started with a three-dimensional array of variables for--I guess this won't mean much unless you've programmed in C. I did it the first time in Excel, but that only gave me friendship scores for this week, instead of a weighted average for the past fifty-two weeks, which is really a better measure of--I feel like I've lost you.

Anyway, I entered a list of your friends into this program, and I was able to estimate all the parameters using your Palm Pilot, your cell phone bill, and your saved e-mails.

I would not have hacked your password, except I didn't think you'd give it to me if I asked.

By the way, "fishfood" is the most obvious password imaginable to anyone who knows you.

So the computer ranked your friends, and I didn't come in first. I ended up proving that I am your fifth-best friend, behind your sister, your mother, Tony (come on, Tony?), and someone I can only identify as FastRunner1983.

Technically, I think FastRunner1983 should be excluded, because if you can e-mail someone for six months and never even mention him to your fifth-best friend, he should not qualify as your fourth-best friend.

I ran the same program with a list of my friends, and it ranked you first. You are my best friend. No one else even came close.

I performed each of the monologues to unfamiliar women in the audience. I had written personal notes on the backs of the pages I handed them.

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