Bum Friend Definition Essay

Friendship Essay

872 Words4 Pages

     Everyone is affected by certain events or individuals that greatly change their life. Many people have influenced me during my 21 years of my life, but I believe that the person that has influenced my life the most is a wonderful girl by the name of Lindsay Schiller. In the year that I have known her, she has become one of my best friends, and has helped to transform me from a lonely computer nerd into a happy college student with a decent social life.
     Popular wisdom has it that, "You judge a man by his friends." Earlier in my life, that would have been difficult, because my father was a high school football coach, and it seemed as though every year I was moving to a…show more content…

That idea quickly escaped my mind as I realized that college was going to be exactly like high school was and I was going to continue to be a loner. My second year in college, I transferred to Missouri Southern State College, in Joplin Missouri, I arrived to school here in the fall of 2001 and once again put up a shield hiding myself from others. I somehow found a group of guys, which like me did not have the greatest social lives. One of these guys introduced me to a girl named Lindsay Schiller. She just began to talk to me as though I was a friend she had known her entire life, we immediately began joking about teenagers working in 7-11's, and made fun of the way our professors dramatized certain aspects of their classes, and satirized her professor’s methodology of hand-signals for facts, generalizations, and cause/effect. Finding common ground in our senses of humor, and love of the certain TV shows, we grew acquainted with each other.
     Later in the year we started dating and began to hang out with each other on more of regular bases. With her being from Basalt Colorado and me being from Grove, Oklahoma, we had a lot of differences and it seemed as though we always had something to talk about, even if it was pointless and had no meaning behind it. More important

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Written in Jack Kerouac's signature easy and free-flowing style, The Dharma Bums tells the story of Ray Smith and his adventures as a hitchhiker, mountaineer, and aspiring Buddha. Between meditation and revelry, Ray, who is modeled off of Kerouac himself, finds steadfast friendship and meaning in the wide and crazy world. The novel opens with Ray Smith meeting an old bum while traveling on a freight train in California. Inspired, he calls the man a "Dharma Bum" and then begins to recount a series of adventures that he has undergone with other such free-spirited people.

Ray attends a rowdy poetry jam at "Gallery Six" in which a number of his friends perform, but he is more impressed by the forthright poetry of Japhy Ryder. Ray and his friend Alvah Goldbook share a small cottage in Berkeley, and Japhy lives down the street in an even more humble dwelling. He proves to be a serious and meditative Buddhist scholar as well as a party animal who shares alcohol and women with his friends.

Ray, Japhy, and chattering maniac Henry Morley soon set off to climb the daunting Matterhorn Peak in California's Sawtooth Ridge. There Ray enjoys the simple pleasures of creating spontaneous haikus and hiking to bold new locations with good friends. At times, he feels euphorically confident and alive. Upon descending to reality, however, Ray experiences the suicide of one of his friends. This is one of the factors that contributes to his decision to leave his cottage and hike cross-country to his family in North Carolina, his possessions stowed securely in a rucksack on his back. As he travels, he experiences many enlightening meditation sessions and meets a variety of colorful characters.

Despite Ray's compassion for humanity, he finds that he is often misunderstood. His relatives grow irritated with his idleness and refusal to work or participate in family affairs. They do not understand his developing understanding of the world as neutrally meaningless, and thus wonderful. Ultimately, Ray leaves his family to return to live with Japhy, who is living his admirably simple life in the shack of one of their friends, Sean Monahan.

Monahan's economical shack is also the site of enormous parties, which Ray and Japhy participate in but soon tire of. Together, they sneak away from a party held in preparation for Japhy's upcoming departure to a Japan monastery and hike to the coastline before sadly parting from each other. Ray, following Japhy's advice, decides to work as a fire lookout on lonely Desolation Peak in the Cascade Range. Ray's experience on there is overwhelmingly positive and enlightening. He begins to feel that he truly understands things as they are before he descends the mountain to face the world again.

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