Summer and Goodbye

EARL leaned over the kitchen sink, a Pabst in hand and tears running down his cheeks. “Fuck!” he yelled, shaking his head, perhaps mad at himself for getting emotional, looking like he was wondering how it would go from here.

In the living room Jared was tearing up, too. But he was more resigned – after all, it was him who was leaving. No fan of drawn-out goodbyes, I just gave him a hug, saying “We’ll see you out in L.A, man. It’s never over.”

The party had gotten loud by then; garbage cans were filling up with emptied bottles of brew and people were still mingling on the porch as the hours stretched to midnight. But in the kitchen a moment was being made, the dim light encapsulating a relic of friendships forged. Earl, Jared and Phill clinked their drinks together, wiped tears. The rest of us sidelined, observing an emotional toast to companions, long nights, summers and inevitable departures. People were laughing again.

I left the party feeling awkward, sad and a bit wobbly. An undecided moon hung in the sky like it was tacked to an inky corkboard. I rode my bicycle home, wondering if I should have said something more. Wondering if I should’ve stayed longer, tried to push back the night, spent more time with my friend. But the moment for goodbyes had already passed into an oblivious past. This departure was an important one, an especially bittersweet one, but it was truthfully one of many more to come – friends would leave, I would leave. Cities themselves would shift in meaning as their populations rotated. It’s never over, I had said…and there’s never any going back.

The morning came, the beer and whiskey still lingering a bit but nothing black coffee wouldn’t fix. I rode to the coffee shop, met up with friends from the previous night, and eventually Jared rolled up as well. We all sat and chatted just like any other day, talking about bikes, travel routes, life. A while later Jared stood up. Time to go. A new context, another chance to say goodbye, safe journeys.

We had a good man-hug, pats on the back. “See you soon,” I said, hoping things would work out, and really wishing I hadn’t stuck out my hand as if we were just going to shake hands like we were strangers.

1 Response to “Summer and Goodbye”

  1. 1 Soren July 29, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for writing that.

Comments are currently closed.

Welcome to TDT. This blog is no longer active. Read about it here.

Required Reading


Post Calendar

July 2007