Yesterday my partner, Nick, and I spent some time with a good friend who we haven’t seen in about two years. Our short reunion began with a late lunch at 5-Point Cafe, where we slowly etched our way back into each others’ lives … asking about friends, reminiscing about past events, chatting about creative projects. We walked the city streets and parks, admiring murals, browsing local shops, and enjoying the sunny, but cool weather. Sadly, our evening ended dropping our good friend off at the airport, where we rushed to say our goodbyes. (I hoped that security wouldn’t interject so quickly by waving away our parked car.) After spending only six hours with my friend — almost the equivalent of a restless sleep — I spent most of the long drive home pretending that our meet up didn’t happen. Sometimes it’s easier to just forget.
Forgetting works as a barrier to avoid reality … the reality that distance separates us … the reality that finances prevent us from frequent visits … the reality that time interferes with planning … the reality that life always gets in the way. Seeing my friend made me remember. Her face made me remember all of the things that I took for granted. I remembered all of the friends that parted ways. I remembered visiting each others’ houses, listening to music at the local bars, stumbling home together, sharing meals, celebrating birthdays and holidays … we were a family; they were my family. We cared for each other in a small town where getting lost in “the bubble” became easy.
The friends we left behind made “the bubble” a tolerable place. The day before Nick and I left, my brother met some of my friends. As he prepared for the drive back home, he said, “Your friends are awesome. It’s a shame that you’re leaving.” That didn’t make it any easier to forget.
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