Friday, August 13, 2004

Departures

I simply hate them. They make me sad, teary-eyed, and otherwise quite miserable for some time. This is one of those traits I've exhibited since the beginning of time. It was rare to find me with dry eyes after leaving any place, person, or thing... or if they left me. I've gotten much better at it. I said goodbye to my relatives from Taiwan, whom I absolutely adore, without much incident. Friends continue to come and go; some have even left without my knowledge. My room is littered with items left behind by those I care about: a signed book here, and stuffed animal there. I've had plenty of practice and simply accepted the comings and goings of people as a small part of life.

Even so, I'd been dreading today for many months, the day when Barbara, one of my closest friends of over three years, would finally move away for good. It reminded me of something I said to someone senior year in highschool. I knew we'd soon part forever and I wanted to take a snapshot of that moment to file away forever in my mind. A couple days ago, I was sitting across from Barbara at Starbucks just looking at her while she studied and had the same thought, that I'd want to save and cherish this moment forever. So I impressed the image of her concentrating face across from me and wrote in my journal, "There was this girl, Barbara, that I used to chat and study with at Starbucks..." Now, a couple days later the tense of that statement is correct and it will be how I come to recall her for future friends.

Let's just say that saying goodbye wasn't easy. In fact, after I handed her my farewell gift and letter, it was everything I could do to hold myself together. That distinctive moment when two lives diverge is so sharp and tangible, yet is infinitely short. At some point, you just know you've looked at someone in that old familiar way for the last time. You know that it will never be the same again.

So all I can do is wish her well on her journey, and that the winds be favorable.