A man needs sad friends to whom he can tell what he doesn't say to his lover. A man needs patient friends who give him the time that a lover denies him. A man needs the friend who talks to him about his lover and evokes a kind of shared warmth that requires the presence of a third person, a special confidant. And above all, a man must respect the relationship with the friend who isn't his lover and gives the assurance that passion could overwhelm him.
— from "The Gay Divorcee," in Happy Families, by Carlos Fuentes.