Headlines for Wednesday:

  1. Why do people cry at airports? (563 words)





1. Why do people cry at airports?: 19:51

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 time indeed.

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?)

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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