Why do people cry at airports? I don’t know, but I know that something
tore up inside me as I pushed Quinn towards Security, half-jokingly
telling her to go before I started crying. I hadn’t meant to cry. I
was trying very hard not to. But as I saw her walk past the clouded
security wall, I missed suddenly, fiercely, the friend I had gotten to
know this past year – and the me I had gotten to know this past year.
Silly me, I told myself as I wiped my tears. It’s not as if she’s
dying. She’s going back home to Vancouver. It’s only the other side of
the country. We’ll keep in touch through hand-written letters and
Facebook pings. It’s not as if she’s gone. And we’d had weeks and then
days and then hours to get accustomed to the idea of goodbye. Silly
me, I told myself, as I kept trying to blink away the blurriness.
When she reads this, I’m sure that she’ll tell me to allow myself to
be sad. It was never something we shied from. Sadness was always
something to reflect on that would tell us more about ourselves and
the world around us. She was someone with whom to turn issues over as
if examining rough stones to see the light and shadow, someone with
whom to gradually polish these experiences into rounded fragments of
insight, someone with whom I could more fully understand that the
inevitable goodbyes make the time we have all the more precious.
And our adventures! All those unwritten and indescribable moments! I
remember a greeting card that read, “We’ll be friends forever. You
know too much.” Yep, that would be us.
Thinking of those moments, I cried on my way back to Kipling Station.
I let myself grieve for the loss of immediacy. It will be a long time
before we can call each other up for a quick dinner or catch an show.
It will be a long time before I can try to massage the knots out of
her tense shoulders after one of those days at work. It will be a long
As I write, I feel myself tearing up again—for this sudden distance
between now and when she reads this.
But just as earlier I found myself smiling through the cooling tears,
I find myself smiling now. How lucky I am to have met such a wonderful
friend through such a chance meeting. Of all the people in the
city—of all the days we could have volunteered—and of all the little
quirks in our past—how amazing that we met. How wonderful it was to
share this time with her.
She should be landing in Vancouver soon, and she’ll pick up the life
she suspended there. New challenges wait for both of us, and we have
friends and work enough to keep both of us busy. But I’ll miss her
anyway, and I’m glad I met her that Friday not so long ago.
(And what retrospective would be complete without blog references?)
- 2006/03/10 – Women in Technology – the event we both volunteered at; we chatted during the trip back to the lab
- 2006/04/07 – Backlog: IBM – First mention of Quinn
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Random Emacs symbol: calendar-forward-week – Command: Move the cursor forward ARG weeks.