I have some friends that I’ll never meet.

I can’t confide in them. We can’t commiserate or rejoice or share experiences or silences. They can’t slice through my bullshit or pat me on the back.

They aren’t all good people, and that helps me to feel a bit more brotherly that no one quite is.

Recently I’ve discovered Mark Maron and his comedy work and his podcasts where he interviews comedians, and spends much pod-time laying bare his neurotic mind.

Through Mark I’ve been re-examining the works of comedians.

Youtube knows my interests, and so when I’m watching comedians, my other favorites will show up in the right hand play list option.

After Eddy Murphy and Robin Williams Hitchens will autoplay.

It’s the same thing, only better. What an improvisationalist! He blows away comedians who “improv” out of material they’ve been honing against an audience for years or decades. Wit.

To my mind, it’s a similar thrill. Wit is a tickle. I rarely laugh out loud, but like the slow steady tickle.

I have a growing list of intellectuals and scientists who have a capacity to tickle. That capacity is of course cultivated from many years of study and speaking and writing, coupled with an outstanding birthright.

Hitchens, among many others, is a stand out talent.

To me that makes him my friend. A type of hero – someone I want to study, emulate, learn from, and share the best parts of the human condition with.

Along with many other fathers, I’m a child of his legacy. Or aspire to be.

And it’s not about political aliance. It’s HOW he thinks and expresses, not WHAT he thinks and expresses.

Same with Mark Maron. That guy is a fucked up dickhead. But it’s HOW he’s a fucked up dick-head that matters. A lot to learn from Mark too.

Introverts think that books are friends, and they are. The writers are close to us and become part of us.