We didn't really get to say good-bye.
That's okay. I'm fine with that. Good-byes are not really my thing. All that awkward, compulsary hugging--in my vast, intimate experience with leaving-taking--has a tendency to lead to tears. And crying in public, my dear Jilly, simply will not do. So I will say my final farewell to you here, in my space, under my terms, where hopefully I can make you laugh instead of cry. Because, ultimately, that's how I hope you will remember me. Laughing. At you.
I, in my turn, choose to remember you this way--flesh colored kneehighs and goofy red polkadot converse, with that crazed, histrionic glint in your eyes--on your way to find more tequila. Bless you.
I will remember your birthday: the Scissor Sisters, and the strange eager boy who kissed me in the cold because you wouldn't let me go home when I wanted to.
I will remember the Samsonite.
I will remember last winter when you made Michelle stop talking about her sister long enough to hear that I was tired and lonely and in need of diversion.
But there is no need for this to read like a eulogy. You are not dead to me, and the chance of us never crossing paths again is exactly nil. I'm very good at long distance relationships. In fact, much like a fine work of Impressionist art, I'm best viewed from a distance.* Something to do with movement and blending colors. Whatever. Clearly the charm of my writing does not lie in the strength of my metaphors. The point is, the stongest relationships in my life were built--or are being actively reinforced--from across continents and oceans both. Alas, our children will no longer be playmates. But you and I are solid.
Don't get me wrong. I still think you're a total bitch for leaving. I don't care how much tea you left me. I will eventually run out, and then what? Well, then I'll take what's left of M's stash. But then what? Plus, who's going to watch the girls while I sit vigil at Boy's nad-fishing operation? And I never did get to go running with you. And there's still the whole matter of Breakfast at IKEA which just won't be the same without you.
Life goes on.
I do wish you the best in this next phase of your life. I'm told that sheep-shaggers are some of the most special people in the whole world, so you've at least got geography on your side. And, just so you know, New Year's is still on the table.
Until then--and I say this with my whole heart--so long, and thanks for all the rum.
*If you really must compare me to a work of Impressionist art, please let it be a darkly elegant Degas. Or possibly one of the later Renoir portraits. But never a clumsy, clotted Van Gogh. Or worse, one of those sweetly prosaic Monet's that you find stapled to the walls of college dorm rooms the world over.