On Lovers, (Girl) Friends, and "Just Friends"

I had a collection of lovers to keep me warm and my friendships with women, who always fascinated me by their wit, bravery, and resourcefulness, and who never told you the same story twice. Now, women I didn’t mind. I mean you can go places with a woman and come back just fine (or as my agent, Erica, plowed right in and said: ‘You know that when you have dinner with a girlfriend, you’re going to come home a whole human being”). I had a third collection of associates who were men but not lovers. ‘Just friends,’ they’re called. An American distinction if ever there was one. Only we would say ‘just’ about a friend. My ‘just friends’ were more reliable than most of my ‘just lovers,’ since ‘just lovers’ were always capable of saying, ‘Gee, you’re puttin’ on weight,’ or ‘Are those the shoes you’re wearing?’
— from "Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A." by Eve Babitz