I spent the last four days in taxis, trains, planes, and rental cars. I returned to Indiana to remember one of the best. I hugged a lot of people, cried a lot, laughed even more, and celebrated a guy who wasn't embarrassed to be overly sweet. I realized again, or maybe for the first time, how crucial these people are. There's no way to say that without choking on the Hallmark-ness of it. One of my friends: a rough, true Indiana man, who has "a piece" of land and can do just fine going days without meaningful conversation, told me that he had memorized "Sugar" by Maroon 5. I obviously assumed he was bullshitting. And maybe he was. But he said, with conviction, that he had heard it and had to listen to it again and again and again--he had to watch the video. He said, "There's something about it--the pop just does something." I listened to it while I ran today, and felt better than I have in a while. In life, we spend a lot of time with our dukes up. We build walls so that we won't have to feel, or get hurt. But we need people to be unguarded with. People we can paint with, and eat with, and admit that we really like sweet things with. Friends don't keep us accountable--they keep us vulnerable and safe at once--they make it alright.