It's no simple matter to leave a friend you've been beside for six weeks, and four other weeks before that. It's surreal, it feels wrong, and it's almost inconceivable to have lived and breathed anywhere else. And so it really didn't bother me when snow cancelled my flights and I had to rebook for a day later. One more day is worth any price. Yet now that day is over and loss impends.
I don't mean to sound overly dramatic. But when you live in a lonely attic as I do with only a grouchy cat for company - even though said attic has a lovely view and everything I need to be comfortable - then companionship has a particularly high value. Goofing off with a friend is just not something that comes easy at home.
Some of the things I've treasured: mind-melds when we both thought the same thing at once (Comic strips! Treadmill desks!)...Getting worn out at the gym...Writing conferences and hanging out with lots of cool people... Long drives to said conferences... Catching up on all the latest Doctor Who... Mysteries and surprises, enjoyed by me but not so much by Chila... Invisible ink sonic screwdrivers... Having my writing intensified by empathetic advice... doing farm stuff: collecting eggs and feeding kitties and hugging new lambs... hilarious board game sessions... poking and prodding that went on for some time to reassure us both that yes, the Internet friend is real... sharing some good meals... working on our own things, but in the same room... the absolute ease of life with no screen between.
We both bought treadmills and mine is waiting for me at home. I've been well and truly introduced to the habit of gym-going, which I intend to continue at home since I have one just around the corner. Next time we meet I hope to be healthier and have new gym buddies, too!
I'm so grateful for the hospitality that makes this possible and I hope I get to do likewise - and that I'm as good a host as Jerry and Chila have been for me.
There's so much more, and maybe I'll think of it in days to come, and add it here. Like this day, this post began with Chila and ends alone in an airport.
But I won't stay alone for long.