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Yesterday after work I drove into town to see for the last time Kat, my future-ex-wife and bartender at our favorite watering hole. Since 2014 she has been behind the bar providing drinks, videos, and jokes and banter to use and all the boys. She did a fine job; she put the happy in happy hour. She was loved by many; normally on a Thursday night only a handful show up for showtunes, but in “Kat’s last call” the place was packed. It was like a Tom Sawyer funeral. Ironically, so many people showed up to wish her well I could not get my usual stool at the bar; I had to stand in the back. I also didn’t feel comfortable among so many folks many not wearing masks. I decided not to stay so I gave Kat a card and a quick less than I cared for good-bye (for she was quite busy) and I left. And that was that. I will probably not see her again.

Have you ever you departed from someone, saying a euphemistic ‘see you later” knowing full well you will never see them again? I felt like that last night. Ironically she has been an integral part of my life for years, yet only in a specific circumstance and relationship dynamic. Someone and I have never seen her in any other place or role. Now that that role is done it is hard imagining us seeing her in some other circumstances.

In my life I’ve had countless number of friends based on circumstances or setting; once these situations are done, the friendships dissolve. I call these sort of friends a “Gerry”. When I lived in Chicago in the early 90s, I had a chum named Gerald. Every September he would call me or vice versa to invite the other to go apple picking. I don’t remember if we did much else; indeed I have the memory we saw each other only once a year, in that context. He was around; I would run into him at the bars at times, but we didn’t see each other otherwise, I guess neither one of us felt inclined to deepen this friendship. It was enjoyable but defined by one activity. When that activity stopped, so did the friendship. In my life there are countless examples of this sort of arrangement.

I cannot determine if ‘Gerry friends’ are OK or a sign of shallowness. Kat was a bartender; her job was to serve drinks which she did with fantastic flair and banter. She is a good person; it is no wonder everyone loved her and there were so many out last night to say thank you. I wondered though how many may actually keep in contact with her. Are they more at ease than I knowing that relationship is done?

Throughout my life there has always been a childish part of me that doesn’t want to lose anyone I have ever cared for. This is funny when I consider the vast majority of people I have cared for are gone. Even in blog-land this is so. When I look back to who my blogger buddies and commenters were a decade ago nearly all of these are gone too.

Mind ! If I really miss Kat, I can reach out via Facebook and ask if she would like to get-together sometime somehow but I don’t think this will happen. It will feel awkward, like asking your dentist out for drinks. I need to come to grips with the axiom relationships are ephemeral and “Gerry’ friends are the norm, and not a sign of fault.

As the Countess De Lave says: ‘Well, with my way, your marriage may not last until death, but it’s fun while it hangs together!”

I raise a Manhattan (no rubbish type) to Kat’s future and well-being.

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