This Is How We Say Goodbye
I apologize in advance for the tears and for the way I will knot my fingers into your hair. And I apologize for the dumb jokes I will make because I’m trying to make the situation lighter. And I apologize for putting off this goodbye until you literally have five minutes before you have to catch your plane and I haven’t showered in hours and we don’t have enough time to say all the things that we wanted to say to each other all of the things that we’ve practiced saying in our minds for years because we knew that this would happen eventually and I apologize for not wanting to have feelings right now and I apologize for telling you that it’s not goodbye just a see you later because I hate that shit and you hate that shit because we’re both grown up enough to know that when we say goodbye this time it will actually be the kind of permanent goodbye that we promised would never happen because you were going to go to New York and I was going to go to New York and we were going to live in a warehouse with a weird, middle-aged divorcee who owned a successful used-book shop who would tell us to chase our dreams and would forgive us when we couldn’t pay rent and dammit if we weren’t happy and even learned how to make a pasta dish together that impressed the neighbors at the potluck we over-eagerly organized.
And I’m sorry for sharing in the delusion that we were different that somehow we would go on the same way for the rest of our lives as if we could live off of my wit and your patience and I’m sorry for the nights I stayed in instead of spending time with you and I’m sorry for all the ways that I disappointed you but this isn’t what this is about because we shouldn’t worry so much about the things that we did or the things that we said because we should be celebrating or rejoicing or something like that, right, we should be hugging and wishing each other the best but fuck if I don’t want your best to be my best and for us to share in a best where we are together and smiling and not saying goodbye to one another and you should know by now that I’m crazy about you in the most platonic and fierce of ways and and and I’m sorry I’m still crying and I’m sorry that I will cry that I will fill nights of crying when I think of you and all of us and saying goodbye to everyone and missing it so fucking much, so fucking much.
I hope that even in old age or in darkness you’ll speak well of me, that’s what I practiced saying to you please speak well of me even when you think about the time that I smoked pot without you or the time that I didn’t pay you back fully for that sandwich that tasted like shit in the first place or for the time when I made fun of your hair even though you kind of liked it the time I made fun of you the time I didn’t laugh at your jokes the time I didn’t say you were funny even though you wanted me to, I hope that in spite of all this you’ll speak well of me and I hope it’s with a smile, the kind of smile that hides a little something at the corners, the kind of smile that people will ask you what are you smiling at? and you won’t be able to tell them. A memory. A beautiful memory. And I know it’s cheesy but it’s the best I’ve got and I find it easier to hide behind metaphor than to tell you how I really feel so I’m sorry about that too and I’m sorry about the inappropriate penis joke I’ll make right before you leave because I can’t imagine handling this, can’t imagine doing anything else but screaming penis at the top of my lungs in a crowded airport terminal just so everyone will look at us and see what it looks like for two best friends to say goodbye and I hope they can appreciate the gravity of it all. Because I can’t and I’m afraid I won’t and I don’t know how to say goodbye to you.
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In an idyllic world of complete emotion control, this might be sound advice. But truth be told, I’m still trying to find out how to do that. It doesn’t matter how often I tell myself nobody has the power to make me feel a certain way, except me.
And I got what I wanted — a dream arrangement that allowed me to live my life without compromises.
3. We hide behind our screens.
Lack of religious affiliation does not mean lack of morality.