Up until I was twelve, I had a best friend who I spent most of my time with, every day. We were pretty bright for our age and we had similar interests so we usually attempted most things together. What I've noticed looking back is that those twelve years were so easy for me because he made it so damn difficult. The two of us easily slotted into whatever was going on, whether we were getting early personal writing projects of ours off the ground; acting; sports; music; reading; Pokemon card games; Yu-Gi-Oh! card games... anything I can think of that I had an interest in at that age. We seemed to be instantly above average at everything, and that's not just nostalgia talking, the reason I find reality so tough to deal with these days is that I'm no longer the best. But he challenged me mentally. I think I did too. We were always trying to outdo each other, all of the time. He's since prospered into a remarkable member of society, most likely due to him finding another half of the Lennon/McCartney relationship we had to replace me. I was not so lucky. As I've said before, most of my friends are great people, but I don't share much in common with them in terms of intellect or interests. And while I can deal with harbouring them and pursuing them myself, I think my standard dropped as soon as I lost someone to be challenged by.