But my girlfriends simply couldn't understand how I couldn't want my checkups. I should get a lawyer and sue for them. I had a right to my checkups, so that we could be "good friends." The first 20 times I heard this I smiled politely and nodded, but I finally had to speak my mind: Look, he should live and be well, of course, but what could be gained by hearing from him? I don't want to be fakey friends with him. Well, sure, not now, they nodded nervously, but someday...someday! I had no clue what they were talking about, and they had no clue to what I was talking about. So I was lost in grand, dramatic thoughts, such as, What is this prudish, morbid stake society now has in making everyone stay fakey friends? In insisting on eroding the natural barriers which protect the self, the ones which also hold out the possibility of true friendship? In launching a pre-emptive strike against any real emotions which might, God forbid, surface and remind us we are not robots? At least the advice a young woman would get a hundred years ago -- "let no half courtesy continue, but break at once" -- permitted room for a sense of tragedy or dignity. That's what my thoughts settled on, eventually: where is our dignity? But that particular pompous thought lasted all of five seconds because then they told me something which assured me that, indeed, we still had our dignity.
We just called it something else.