Transience is second nature to the itinerant—as soon as someone blows into your life they’re gone again, sometimes you don’t even notice, but sometimes you find yourself spiraling upward in a violent whirlwind, with no idea where it’s taking you. Not everyone that breezes into your life will make a lasting impact—hell, most won’t—but the ones that do are all the more special for standing out in wave after wave of yawn-inducing dates, party pals who absent themselves from your life for 5 days of the week, and toast-textured acquaintances (everyone likes toast, but no one goes out of their way for it).
I left my family and friends last June: the people who have known me my entire life. The ones that have seen me fly and the ones that have seen me fall. The ones that understand me so innately they know what I’m thinking before I think it; what I feel before I feel it. The ones with which the most intimate details of our lives pass between us as innocuously as the air we breathe. The absence of these people from my daily life creates a hollow nook in the space beneath my ribs, and yet I know they are just there (wherever “there” may be), as solid and immovable history, existing regardless of where I am or what I’m doing.
Being alone is lovely—between the pangs for those human horcruxes, the ones into which I’ve split and imbibed a tiny fraction of my soul—I have a certain happiness that comes with adventuring in the world. I meet people all the time, I mean, God, this is New York City. Even when you’re all alone in bed at night you still have the J-train and the sirens. And I’ve never been someone who has been afraid of being alone—to the contrary, I relish it.
So I take the new people that flow in and out of my life into my arms and they help me make memories. But they’re just that—memories. They’re not history, not like you. As much as I can love my new friends in an instant, many of them will some day be gone from my life and the memory will simply be mine and mine alone because I don’t know where they’ve taken it, how they’ve adapted it, or if and how it continues to affect them. And maybe I will modify my own memories, so that they become more like myths than stories of actual happening.
But then you came along. I’m still not sure what it is that makes two people right together—whether it’s us or simply a perfect alignment of circumstances in which a certain relationship can evolve—whatever, we are right together. In this vast city where everything and everyone is coming and going at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-pace, we found a way to stand still together. At first we were like the rest—sharing boozey nights, raucous banter and conversations about where we’d traveled, our jobs and the weather. Amongst it all, we found something to hang onto in a place where everyone is losing their grip; and that’s how you became one of my very closest friends.
We always knew you’d have to go, and now that the day’s actually upon us, I can hardly believe it. Of overflowing Facebook invites, crowded bars filled with friends-of-friends and their friends, and fleeting, blurry, between the sheets entanglements from which I slink away in the early hours of the morning, we somehow made a connection. Now that you’re going, I’m afraid of what I’ll do without you. It’s taken me this long to find someone here that understands how the pieces of me click together, and who, in turn, I can understand in a way that sometimes doesn’t need words. I guess this is cheesy or something, but I really am so sad to see you go. There was something so comforting just knowing that you were only blocks away, that we could meet for beers and shuffleboard in the afternoons and that you still wanted to be my friend when I’d cry for no reason. So goodbye, for now, my friend. You etched your own little niche in the dug-out beneath my ribs, and I’ll take you with me everywhere I go.