Thursday, July 22, 2004

a la prochain dood
I would love to write a nice little story type blog today but there is
just one problem. I am bloody knackered. Last night Tom, a good
American friend of mine, left town to fly back home.

Of course we had to give him a good send off, which meant that there
was none of this going to bed at a sensible hour to get up and go to
work malarkey. Just a lot of going to bed stupidly late and very
drunk, and forcing myself out of bed. As a result I have been dozing
off all afternoon and can barely muster enough energy to tap these
mere lines out.

I have said a few of my own goodbyes in the not too distant past. Two
that really stand out are the goodbye when I left Toulouse the first
time, and saying goodbye to Japan. They always sort of crept
up on me, nagging quietly for weeks about the fact that I was leaving,
and then suddenly I was there on that last night, all my friends
around me.

At some points in my life I have been pretty cynical about the chances
of people keeping in touch, and about the chances of making long
distance relationships last.

Japan was the hardest point I think. Out of the adversity that we
struggled against in building and maintaining our Tokyo lives, a gang
of us formed some really good friendships. Leaving behind those people
who had shared so much with me was really quite tough.

I can still picture them all very clearly, on a humid July evening
with the neon flashing around us; Ralph and pregnant Chika, Jerry,
Tomomi, Dave, Gavin, Jeremy. They helped me lug my 80kg of luggage
around Ebisu, down into open-air bars and up into tiny karaoke rooms. Thanks guys :o)

Over time I have become more accustomed to saying goodbye, not letting
it bother me so much. Whereas I used to think that most separated
friendships would just peter out, the evidence of my life so far has
been totally to the contrary. The people who really matter do stay in
touch. And anyone who really matters but loses touch always seems to
pop up again somewhere.

So for me now, goodbyes are not such a trauma to worry about. Fortunately this leaves me free to concentrate saying goodbye properly, letting my friends know they are valued.

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