Last weekend we had a lovely BBQ in Ravenna Park. It was sort of a mass gathering of all the people who we have come to love in Seattle, and a couple people who The Lovely Miss Q came to love sometime around 1992.
It was great fun, and not nearly as stressful as it could of been—we had cheeseburgers and beers and played Frisbee, and also batchi ball! Have you ever played batchi ball? It is the game I can’t wait to play when I’m 65. Its perfectly suited to both people with bad hips and people who can’t set down their beer without forgetting where they put it. I think this game could bridge generation gaps the world over. But I digress.
As my departure date looms ever closer (48 days!) and as I tell more and more people what I’m doing and how long I’ll be gone, I keep waiting to feel…something. Something very dramatic and also maybe a little epic. I want to feel something equal to the occasion of me leaving my life for two years. But I just can’t seem to get there. I do feel excited—I’m having no problem feeling excited about this adventure—but shouldn’t I be feeling other things too? I suppose I’m just having a really hard wrapping my head around the sheer size of this endeavor.
I guess what is really weirding me out is the lack of crying I’ve been doing. I mean, maybe its still just too early in the process—maybe by mid September I’ll be crying my eyes out every time I see the Space Needle. Because the thing is folks, I am a bit of a crier. That makes me sound Incredibly Lame. I’m not. I am Marginally Lame at most. It’s not like I walk around constantly blubbering. I just tend to be a little sentimental. But I can’t seem to get sentimental about this! And it should be so easy! The capacity for pre-departure nostalgia alone should be doing something for me!
I keep expecting to have these moments with people, where we hug and everyone looks sort of dewy like the heroines do at the end of all the best old movies. Doesn’t that sound satisfying? In a cinematic sort of way? Sadly I haven’t had anything even resembling moments like those so far. The timing is always off. Whenever someone else seems to be on the verge of dewiness, I am generally feeling something more akin to distraction or possibly hunger.
Which brings us to last night. My last official Wednesday night with TLMQ. In the beginning we got together to watch America’s Next Top Model, the greatest reality TV show ever produced. It became a weekly ritual, involving Tyra Banks, snarky commentary, wine and dinner. It was a deeply satisfying way to spend an evening. America’s Next Top Model ended a few months back, but our desire for wine and snarky commentary did not.
Last night we spent what will be our final evening together for what will be a very long time. She and Beezzz are leaving for Connecticut a week from today. Of course we’ll see each other between now and then, and I’ll be seeing them in September right before I report to Staging, but it won’t be the same. We had planned to spend the night packing up her kitchen, but true to ourselves and the spirit of our friendship, we spent it looking up classic songs from the 80’s and 90’s instead. With wine. It was great. I’d forgotten the magic of the one-hit wonder.
At the end of the night we hugged good-bye, even though we’ll see each other again in two days, and that’s when I felt the barest glimmer of dew, the slightest hint of cinematic epicness welling within me. Which I quickly stopped. I had to walk away and it made me realize that maybe I’m not having any of those coveted ‘moments’ because I’m not letting myself. As ready as I am to go somewhere else, I’m not quite ready to say good-bye.