On the outskirts of Havana, they call friends mi terre, my country, or mi sangre, my blood.
In Caracas, a friend is mi pana, my bread, or mi llave, my key: pana from panaderia, bakery, the source of wholesome bread to sate the hunger of the soul; llave, from...
"Key, from key," Mario Benedetti tells me.
And he tells how, when he lived in Buenos Aires in times of terror, he would carry five alternate keys on his key ring: the keys to five houses, to five friends: the keys that proves his salvation.
(thank you for being my keys!)