Today, my friend Laura loaded the last of her things into a U-Haul truck and left DC for her hometown of Boston. I knew this would be a big change for me, but I clearly misjudged the magnitude. A few things I realized when writing Laura's goodbye card: 1. We have lived in immediate proximity to each other for the past 6 years. 2005-2006: Darnall Hall, one door over. 2006-2007: Kennedy Hall, two floors down. 2007-2008: Study Abroad, devastating separation. 2008-2009: 1703 House, cohabitation. Oct. 2009 - April 2011: R Street/S Street, one block.
How did I not realize this before? This is recording-breaking. I suppose I lived with my parents for 18 years, but I don't think I even had this kind of prolonged proximity to my brother and sister (both of whom left for college when I was 5 and 6, respectively).
2. Her response time beats that of most ambulances. Call, text, or email Laura, and she will get back to you immediately -- day or night -- whether you just forgot how to make French toast or are suffering from a major existential crisis.
3. She is my only dog friend. Laura has a dog. I (sort of) have a dog. If you are not a dog person, you may not understand what this dog camaraderie means.
4. She is also my only non-work overnite buddy. Although I may sometimes feel like I am saving lives/the world during the overnite shift at NPR, I'm really not. Laura, however, saves real live babies as a pediatric intensive care unit nurse. I'll miss the luxury of winding down the day at a weekday brunch with someone else who's also winding down.
5. We are saps. With Laura, I'm never crying alone -- at the movies or in real life.
...except for now, where I find myself sitting here trying to purge myself of sadness via blog. I am genuinely surprised by the intensity of my reaction to this. Laura is, after all, moving to the one place I actually visit several times a year. Regardless, change often sucks and this is no exception.
I am here in my pajamas with my roll of toilet paper (Kleenex is for rich people) throwing my hands up in confusion and trying to pull it together before I go to an ill-timed all-day music festival.
Sort of like a break-up , I feel like I will suddenly experience moments of re-realizing Laura is not in DC anymore. She can no longer be the dinner date I can make last minute plans with. Her apartment is no longer the go-to meeting place of our book club. I can no longer decide that this bar sucks and convince Laura to walk back with me.
I'm rambling. I'm complaining. I'm wallowing. I'm being over-dramatic.
If you are thinking "Man, how can I avoid this misery?," I would simply recommend this: Don't make best friends.