I have very recently come to realize that I am a terrible friend. Well, perhaps “terrible” is a bit of an overstatement: I will be there for you if you come to me in need, or really make any kind of effort at all, but otherwise I try to keep my head down and not get involved. There are plenty of reasons for this, mostly involving fatigue and heavy drinking and a crippling sense of dread at the thought of picking up the phone just to chat and catch up on your life. In a sense, our new electronic world has been a major accomplice in my declining amiability; if we’ve corresponded over email, however briefly, I somehow score that as a full bout of contact. A tweet is a good as a night out, in my mind. It is a difficult position to defend when looked at from a distance, and it makes me consider the proposition that I am not, in fact, as kind and compassionate to those about whom I care than I had previously considered myself to be. Fortunately, it turns out that it’s not my fault: I must have a small brain! So it’s not you, friend, it’s me. Please forgive me. I’m just not that bright.