Fond Farewell

Yesterday I left those I consider family. These words are written sadly.

I remember sitting on the bricks out back nursing an anxiety that felt sharp in my gut. I’d felt it before on a train leaving Munich, a bus leaving Khon Kaen, on foot leaving a group of friends playing cards. It’s the feeling of impending separation combined with the daunting unknown. It was uncomfortable and impossible to alleviate. So I acknowledged it, and sat with it, and clocked the hours.

When the time came for goodbyes, eloquence had already gone. I wanted to tell my friends how grateful I was to have met them. I wanted to thank them for everything they’d done for me. I should have reflected on the great times we had, touched on old jokes shared, and laughed once more. I should have offered my support, in whatever way I could give it, whenever they might need it.

If I could send a message to that moment I’d exhort them to take better care of their mother, or at the very least appreciate her more. I’d wish them well in all their endeavors. I’d convey a heartfelt sentiment that summed everything up in a perfect few words, that balanced heft with levity, and bestowed a token of wisdom.

But as it went, my stomach knotted, my tongue fell asleep, and the word ‘fun’ dribbled out of my inarticulate lips. I climbed into my van, backed clumsily out of their steep driveway, waved one last time at their silhouetted figures, and drove away.

Perhaps it’s due homage to the friendship that it couldn’t be so casually laid dormant. I suppose I appreciate that such moments as those can shatter¬†my composure. I wouldn’t wish it easier to¬†offer fond farewells.


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