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What do you say when you know you will never see the person you before you? Do you pretend there may be a reunion or do you bluntly acknowledge the end and act accordingly ?

The Lovely Neighbor drives to Virginia tomorrow and that is that. I doubt she will ever return to Arizona.

This evening we had her over for a drink before she leaves in the morning. We made her late mother’s oyster dip and we had drank some bourbon. It felt like the last supper. We did not talk about this situation. Rather we joked about this and that; we laughed and rolled our eyes at Hair Furor’s latest outrage. Once in awhile I slipped in a thank you and a mention of how grateful I was for having her in my life. I said I would miss her. But these slips were not continued or even acknowledged; the superficial chats and banter continued.

At the end of our little Tom Sawyer funeral she became tearful and announced she had to go. I tactfully did not point out her tears. I gave her a long hug, the type Wotan gives to Brunhilde before he leaves her forever.  There were promises on both sides to keep in touch and do come visit etc.

I’ve been through this sort of thing before – many times. I recognize one when it happens to me. I know how it goes. “Let’s keep in touch” is an indirect speech act for “we will probably never see each other again but do let’s us not be so crude to say such out loud”. I’ve had countless friends move away vowing to stay in touch only to disappear and become only a memory if they are remembered at all.  One of the saddest things in my life is how many people I have known who have moved away and have ceased to be; most of them I can’t easily recall anymore. Sad.

Perhaps this way is better. Perhaps saying the obvious is too blunt. So we agree on the illusion of the possible.

Perhaps I am wrong; maybe we will keep in touch and see each other again. Based on my experience this will not be so.

Even if this turns out to be true I know in time I will not feel the loss I will only remember the love.



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