But a 25-year friend is not just “a friend for 25 years.” It’s not the passage of time that matters as much as the “of course”-ness of it all. Of course I want to hear about your breakup. Of course you can come over anytime. Of course I’ll help you move. Of course you’ll be my best man, and I yours. Of course we’ll be each other’s godfathers. Of course you’ll “lend” me some money when I hit hard times. 25 years of “of course.”

And in the end, and I mean the very end, of course you’ll come visit me when I’m all but paralyzed. Of course you’ll go outside to throw a ball around with my son while the paramedics take me off to the hospital, again. After I can’t so much as lift my legs, of course you’ll sit with me in the hospital and help me get comfortable every five minutes. After I can’t feed myself, of course you’ll ignore the doctor’s orders and sneak in some cheese bisque and feed me one spoonful at a time. And after I can’t change myself, of course you’ll call the nurse to say there’s shit running down my leg, and of course you’ll stick around to help the nurse roll me over so she can wipe me down, then roll me back so she can change my sheets.

A good friend will help you move. A great friend will help you move a body. A 25-year friend will help you move your own body, if that’s all that’s left to do.

Mark Pilgrim, “Me, but You, but Me”