What a lovely essay.
Read the whole thing.
Sentimental, but not schmaltzy. Really nice.
"Friendship provokes us to pause a moment, shrug off our workaday carapace, and just be flesh and blood. Like a guardian spirit, a friend may ask and then reorient us a bit, a leverage like New Year’s Eve. Traction, context: to remain among the living, hugged and germane, is the idea."