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In On the Face of It, Mr Lamb claims that he has many friends.

In page 63,

Derry: Do you have any friends?

Mr Lamb : Hundreds.

Derry: But you live by yourself in that house. It’s a big house, too.

Mr Lamb : Friends everywhere. People come in.... everybody knows me. The gate’s always open. They come and sit here. And in front of the fire in winter. Kids come for the apples and pears. And for toffee. I make toffee with honey. Anybody comes. So have you.

Derry: But I’m not a friend.

Mr Lamb : Certainly you are. So far as I’m concerned. What have you done to make me think you’re not?

So, we get to know that Mr Lamb is fine with making friendship with anyone. Continuation of the conversation:

Derry: But I’m not a friend.

Mr Lamb : Certainly you are. So far as I’m concerned. What have you done to make me think you’re not?

Derry: You don’t know me. You don’t know where I come from or even what my name is.

Mr Lamb : Why should that signify? Do I have to write all your particulars down and put them in a filing box, before you can be a friend?

Derry: I suppose...not. No.

Mr Lamb : You could tell me your name. If you chose. And not, if you didn’t.

Derry: Derry. Only it’s Derek....but I hate that. Derry. If I’m your friend, you don’t have to be mine. I choose that.

Mr Lamb : Certainly.

Derry: I might never come here again, you might never see me again and then I couldn’t still be a friend.

Mr Lamb : Why not?

Derry: How could I? You pass people in the street and you might even speak to them, but you never see them again. It doesn’t mean they’re friends.

Mr Lamb : Doesn’t mean they’re enemies, either, does it?

Derry: No they’re just....nothing. People. That’s all.

I would like to emphasise about "If I’m your friend, you don’t have to be mine. I choose that." So, I assume that Mr Lamb has lots of one-sided friendships and his definition of friendship seems quite new to me (i.e., being a friend without knowing basic details like name, etc.).

In page 66, things get a bit serious:

Derry: Those other people who come here....do they talk to you? Ask you things?

Mr Lamb : Some do, some don’t. I ask them. I like to learn.

Derry: I don’t believe in them. I don’t think anybody ever comes. You’re here all by yourself and miserable and no one would know if you were alive or dead and nobody cares.

Mr Lamb : You think what you please.

Derry: All right then, tell me some of their names.

Mr Lamb : What are names? Tom, Dick or Harry.
[Getting up] I’m off down to the bees.

The "What are names" dialogue seems so weird. Why did Lamb say it? Was it because he doesn't ask names of people who he interacts with or was Lamb thinking of random names to lie to Derry? Or does Lamb forget names of his "friends" because of his old age?

In the end of scene 1, Lamb says this:

Mr Lamb : [To himself] There my dears. That’s you seen to. Ah....you know. We all know. I’ll come back. They never do, though. Not them. Never do come back.

So does this indicate that none of his "friends" ever return to meet Lamb after their first interaction?

Did Lamb have true friendship with anyone? Or did loneliness make him believe that all are his friends?

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