Goodbye, My Friend

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. TC mark

image – BoyGoku

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  • Yvonne

    Just about sums up my feelings these days – when I can’t force people to stay in my life, it’s their choice.

  • Marina_C

    Bravo Kat – such a beautiful piece. I may just cry…

  • Joanna

    As someone who has had to move a lot,  this speaks a great deal to me about the pain of loving and losing those that come into and exit my life, and the friendships I often have to leave behind. Well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    There’s only so much one can take of loneliness. 

  • kathurrr

    Nearly cried cos this happened to me a few months back. Thank you for you wonderful writing.

  • http://www.thatguybfly.com/ bfly

    You can’t force people to stay in your life, you can only give them good reason to stick around for it.

  • Guest

    I just wanted to say that, Kat, your writing is getting better and more complex everyday and you are really finding your voice. It’s really beautiful to read!

  • melt

    “we found something to hang onto in a place where everyone is losing their grip” … this it hard for me.

    … and maybe it’s cheesy (it is), but i was listening to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7FqUNlEdwA&ob=av2e while i was reading your piece and the kinda clicked too.

    • Katgeorge

      Oh BlondeRedhead. Love, but also–CRY!

  • Tony Jiang

    you had me at “horcruxes”

  • Brononymous

    Christ, between this and the spoiled brat moaning about still living at home, is thoughtcatalog now a compendium of early-20 whine? 

    Amazing, people have picked up and moved to a new city – and left friends and family behind.  Before you and i’m sure after you as well.  It happens.  It will continue to happen.  Deal.

    • No

      This is nothing like Miss First World Problems and her how hard it is to have supportive parents that pay her way for everything. “Goodbye, My Friend” was written by a far better writer and was based on something that is easy to connect with.

      • Guest

        Sounds like more of the self-indulgent prattle to me.  Wake me when she actually has a worthwhile revelation that’s not layered in high school english class-level gauze.

      • Guest

        Sounds like more of the self-indulgent prattle to me.  Wake me when she actually has a worthwhile revelation that’s not layered in high school english class-level gauze.

    • No

      This is nothing like Miss First World Problems and her how hard it is to have supportive parents that pay her way for everything. “Goodbye, My Friend” was written by a far better writer and was based on something that is easy to connect with.

  • Agent_Torpor

    lol, so maudlin.

  • Alicccia Cassstro

    As I leave for college in a couple of weeks and leave behind my own best friend, I hope they think of me as fondly as you’ll recall your best friend.

  • Sophia

    Loved this. It was like Chelsea’s “Love Letter To A Friend,” except not quite as good. Still very good.

  • http://twitter.com/FLYamSAM Denden

    I need this right now…

  • Umbé

    Nice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M54FHCKAPUULI5F37TIPGEK4VY Jessie

    I loved this. I hope I find something(s) like that in my year abroad.

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