A friend is leaving LA today. It’s odd, when I was younger and being moved from place to place by the Air Force that wanted my Dad in different parts of the country every few years, I didn’t really get that sad. I knew in my heart that I had made these good friends but would never see or hear from them again…we just didn’t have the technology or patience to do so back then.
There was on notable exception on both counts, though: our last move as a family from Wichita Falls, TX to Redlands, CA. We’d been in Wichita Falls for maybe 4 years straight and I had convinced myself that I was now, and forever would be, a Texan. I would always hang out with my next door neighbor, Bubba and Jay and Josh down the street. I’d dropped my fake “howdy y’all” and now actually succeeded in blending in because I was no longer trying to. And now we were leaving.
I cried, to my recollection, pretty much non-stop for the 3 days it took us to make the trip west. I pleaded and bargained. I pulled on their sentiment for their nerdy son, “but I have real friends!”…but it was all to no avail.
Ironically, I can’t ever imagine leaving California now…especially for Texas.
At any rate, a friend is leaving LA today to first go across the country, and then? I’m sick and can’t meet her to say goodbye, and the frustration of that eats at me. Try to pull myself together and meet her in my misery? Or get the rest I so desperately need and promise to see her again soon, somehow?
The thing is, I’m scared. Scared of the emotions and the sadness that I don’n know that I can bear right now. By not saying goodbye I can pretend that it didn’t really happen, though the feelings of loss are already beginning to creep in. By not saying goodbye, I CAN keep in touch through email and etc, and maybe even meet for a drink when out that way. That is my hope, anyway.
As I get older, though I see them less and less, my friends become ever more important to me. In many ways, they are my family. Now we are all so busy, never having the time to hang out literally every weekend like we used to. And this sort of thing, where one slips away; this sort of thing hurts most of all.