I recently got home from a meeting with a friend of mine. Well, I’m not quite sure if friend is the right word. See, a bunch of shit happened a couple years back, and now I am talking to her again. I don’t really know where we are, which makes what is coming next even more awkward. But her and I are still able to hold a conversation for hours on end. We can still be amicable, just like the old days. It makes how it all went down between us that much worse. But I won’t go there. Been down that road, but the idea was to move forward.
Our conversation today veered into a fact that is both cruel and inevitable – we are going our own ways. For me,I am heading out of the town I live in. After losing the apartment I was sharing with my ex, I returned home. I tried to rekindle my social life and find something worth bonding to here. However, it was all for naught. Due to forces beyond my control, I was unable to make time with people. They all kind of moved on and left me wondering what happens next. I am very much the odd-man-out. I have nothing going for me here, but there is something in the city where I was living in. So, I mean to return there.
And that’s where the bummer part with this friend came in. The reality is that when I leave my hometown for the last time, I may never see any of these people again. And this saddens me, because it marks a turning point in life.
My friend is also there. She is looking to leave Alaska and pursue grad school. She wants to accelerate her career. That’s smart. Still, she is lamenting the amount of relationships that she will likely lose as a result of this. It didn’t get said, but I understood that my friendship was almost surely among them. This is especially depressing, considering that I have just been trying to get it back. Some people have not gotten why, so I guess I’ll explain.
I believe something. Something core to myself as a person. I believe that the relationships that we culminate along the paths of life are the only thing that really matters. When I die, some people will remember me as that guy with the blog they read. Though not for long. I’m just one blog among the vast ocean. That is something that will fade with time. I’m not going to be memorialized in some great museum of writing. I know that I’m not Hemingway. So what will be remembered of me? What legacy will we leave behind, if only for a lifetime?
It is my belief that it will be the people whose lives I touch. There was this great descriptive term in the REALLY pretentious film Meet Joe Black, where a Jamaican woman described how she remembered her long life, when she is talking to Joe about going with her into Death. She described it as ‘ If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us.’ That’s a nice way to put it. I have some absolutely amazing pictures in my life. I may be depressing and suffer from depression, but I’m not so fargone that I don’t have pictures in my life that are beautiful.
There are the summer days that I spent on the lake, with the first girl I ever loved. We swam, laughed, laid out in the sun, letting it dry us. There were the nights that my first friend and I talked about the country we would make and how the people would live there. There are the days that I was talking to my grandma in the summer. Summer. Some of the summers that I have as a kid, so beautiful. The wind, the trees, the smell of the air. There is my first kiss. It was so anticlimactic. It came out of nowhere. She looked so sad. We had been talking about serious stuff. It got heavy. There was the Periodicals Room, with a girl who still means everything to us, even after how some things happened. Holding her as she cried, trying to hold it all together. She’s so strong. She refuses to let herself show weakness, so when she trusted us to let us see that, it was amazing. I remember the butterflies in my stomach afterwards. It was amazing. I remember rescuing a friend who had been abandoned at the bar by her friends. The way she ran into my arms when I showed up. I felt like a knight in armor, holding a bloody sword, with a field of fallen foes behind me.
These are my nice pictures. Now the question becomes – have I put any nice pictures into the heads of anybody else? Have I given anyone else something to fondly keep with them, when I am no longer around? What about her? Have I given her any nice pictures, if we do end up parting for good? The pictures that we leave each other are the things that truly matter. It’s easy to say that you have lead a full life, but the truth is – you have only lead that life when you have left memories in those who matter to you. It can’t just be you. A full life will undoubtedly affect other people.
So what does that mean in respect to me and my efforts to rekindle a friendship that may last for just another month? It means that I am going to keep going. Even if it all does amount to jack-diddle, I want to get a few more pictures. I want to leave her with a few more pictures. Things got so ugly before. This is a chance to let things go on a note of happiness. Isn’t that what any decent person would want to do? I will miss her, if our time together ends in January. It will hurt, knowing that this is it, and we will never get another chance. But I have pictures in my head, and I will keep those pictures with me. I hope she will too.
What pictures have you left behind? What pictures do you keep with you? Feel free to let me know in the comments section.
Until next time, a quote,
“I don’t think you can analyze love. It’s the greatest mystery of all. No one knows why it happens, or doesn’t. Love is a chance combination of elements. Any one thing might be enough to keep it from igniting – a mood, a glance… a remark. And if we could define love, predict it – it would probably lose its power.” -Neelix, Star Trek: Voyager