This column bi-weekly column, “From Richard’s Oft Cluttered Desk” appears every third Wednesday.
Leaving has been harder than I thought. I’ve known this day was coming for awhile and I thought I had prepared myself for the emotions I might feel, but I was wrong. I am not sure if anyone can prepare for the emotions, internally and externally, that comes from leaving a place you’ve always called home.
Since 2004, I have lived in four different cities and six different physical places. Each has it’s own memories and experiences. And each was hard to leave in their own way.
I remember back in the fall of 2004, I raced in my car named Teal to college. I couldn’t grow my wings fast enough. And I did. I experienced life and met great friends, a few of which I still talk to to this day. While at college, I lived in the dorms and then two separate apartments. Again, each place was different, but all hold a very special place in my heart.
Who can forget Eric’s terribly smelly hockey equipment in our room that funked up the whole corridor?! Or Brian, Laura and myself walking home at 2 in the morning … well, I don’t quite remember why. I guess we didn’t have friends that night. I remember parties, studying, napping, deep conversations and Euchre. Oh, and Brian and Jarred’s Christmas tree, which, if you’re interested, was a tiny tree-branch in a Mountain Dew can. It was quintessential college.
Then I got a job and the experiences changed but I stayed in my college town with these great people and this great city. I loved life. It was then I met Nathanael through this wonderfully crazy and unpredictable thing we call the Internet.
I’ve been to concerts, seen floods, broken a bone, had a surgery, come out, bought a car, transferred jobs and bought stock. All these great life experiences I will cherish. And as I prepared to leave this place, the Midwest over the last month, I’ve found that it is the experiences, the people, the memories that I don’t want to lose.
Living in the Midwest, I’ve had a car since I was 16. However, going to New York, I made the decision to sell my beloved car. Let me be honest, I almost cried when I handed over the keys. Maya, my silver Pontiac Grand Am GT (still proud of her!) was my third car, but the first purchase I made as an “adult” and the first car I bought with my own money. I loved her and she loved me. Oh, we fought, but in the end, I will always miss her. I know it is just a car, but it is these “things” that have helped create the memories I cherish.
I also know who I would pack up and take with me on this new adventure, but I’m not sure I have the space in our Queens apartment. I said good-bye to some wonderful people two Saturdays ago and by the fourth person, I couldn’t talk. As I walked to my car, Charlie, the rented one, I told my best friend that I wasn’t saying good-bye; I couldn’t handle anymore.
And it’s true. Good-bye sucks. Lloyd Christmas hated them and so do I.
So to everyone that has shared in my life up until today, thank-you! I’m not leaving, so don’t say good-bye. I’m still here. Oh, there are new tenants and new drivers of Maya (and Teal and Shadow), someone else will have my old job, but I know the memories and the love will never leave.
I’ll miss being close to these people, but we’ll always be together. In memories. In life. In love.