I have plenty of friends in the UK, and people I am friendly with, but I haven't really made any mates. Those who will drop over for a pint, or to watch the footy, or just to hurl abuse and mock you. As you get older, it gets harder to make new close friends. I think this level of friendship occurs due to shared interests, experiences or through the mutual looking for friends. By my age, most people already have their friendship circle and don't need any more. I suppose it doesn't help that most of my interests seem not to be shared by anyone around me.
On the weekend, I was in another city for a conference. A splendid time was had, and during the dinner break I headed out to find some food. I ended up in a small Indian restaurant, and shared a table with another patron, someone not attending the conference. I really enjoyed his company, and we seemed to have so much in common. We chatted about music (similar tastes), laughed, and generally had a good time. And then I had to leave.
I said bye, and headed out. A minute or so later, I considered returning to ask if we could connect on social media, but I figured that might be weird. It's unlikely we'd ever get to hang out due to the distance between our cities, and that's what I would have really enjoyed.
Maybe I should have. You never know. We might have ended up hanging out, somehow, somewhere. But if it's meant to happen, it'll happen. So Mark, if you're out there and somehow reading this, get in touch.