saying goodbye

there is a scene in the last episode of buffy the vampire slayer that is fairly gut-wrenching if you're a fan of the show. the ensemble is getting ready for the big battle to end all big battles (for real this time) and the entire cast is in this small hallway. the characters who have joined the cast over the last 7 or so years sort of trickled away, leaving the original 4 characters alone. after a moment of "typical" banter where nobody really chooses to acknowledge that there really might not be a tomorrow, one falls away and the last 3 walk down the hall to their stations, again with the witty talk that distracts them from what's about to happen. then there are 2. then just one. that's what the last few days felt like to me. saturday we had a grand fete for two friends who were moving away tuesday morning. they were planning on leaving monday, but didn't want to leave on my birthday. that's how cool they are. they had been staying with us for the past month, which as potentially dangerous as that sounds was actually incredibly cool. i don't think i could have handled it as long had it been any other couple, but for me, it only served to cement what had become a very special set of friendships. on saturday night, someone asked me if i was ready to say good bye to will and gina and i said, "i haven't said good bye to them in a month." i've said "good night", "have a nice day at work", and other very, very temporary words of departure, but nothing even close to "see you in a few months, maybe." anyway, back to my analogy... saturday we had the "whole cast" basically, which by the end of the evening whittled down to smaller and smaller groups. and then sunday the four of us ate leftovers with another couple. watching hans and kristan say good bye was rough. it brought a level of realism that i wasn't quite prepared for. monday night i fixed dinner for just the four of us and as the evening slowly dragged on, it was hard to go to bed. going to bed meant that this day was over, and the next day they'd be gone. we spent the evening sort of skirting the topic. they had to plan a route, but didn't want to look to closely at the maps. there were a couple of things that still needed to be packed up/dealt with, but nobody wanted to look too closely at why we were doing any of it. this morning we got up early and in the fog of not-enough-sleep helped them pack their cars. and they left. and now our house is so empty.


At 7/07/2005 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous will said...


i agree with your assesment of the final days although i admit to successfully not dwelling on the unpleasantness of the situation, pretty much until right this very moment.

props to all of us for being the kind of friends that can live together for a full month.

At 7/07/2005 11:40:00 AM, Anonymous Dr. G said...

This says I can "use some HTML tags," whatever the hell those are for. Would you believe this is my first "post" ever? Heh.

So for a month, I couldn't always look people in the eye when the move came up. I didn't know what to say or how to say it. Instead, I cried when people said good-bye in the movies, and my heart ached when favorite characters died, and all the while people said, "so, are you excited?" with emphasis on the "excited," and their eyes lit up and they were so happy for us. [I bet if I knew what HTML tags were, I could have italicized that word.] And all I could think was that I couldn't be excited yet, b/c I was hurting too much.

for a year, every time I went somewhere, I hurt. There are people I love doing other things in other places, and I'm always missing some of it. Fly home Saturday night so you can spend half the weekend with your friends, but miss Sunday with your cousins, and miss Saturday night with everybody, because you're on the airplane. Fly out Friday morning because spending $350 on a ticket means you don't want to get there on Saturday afternoon and leave on Sunday morning, but then you miss Friday night at the movies. And it's always been that way, but this year it ached in a haunting, unexpected way.

Grown people in the US aren't supposed to be able to live with each other for a month without fighting and ruining friendships. I learned in college that if you live with the wrong person it can sour your relationship forever, even if that person could otherwise be your friend. It's pretty amazing when you find people that it's fun to live with. The crappy part is, we had to move away to figure that out. How jacked up is that?

I promise that all the traveling I do for everyone else, I'll do for you. And Will travels b/c I make him, so he'll be there, too. I doubt we'll be able to stay away too long. I can already feel something pulling me back.

At 7/07/2005 05:01:00 PM, Anonymous Ryan said...

I can already feel something pulling me back.

Yes! My Super Magnet works!


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