I said goodbye to a dear friend this week. I said goodbye once already, but as my fantastic luck would have it, he came back and we had to repeat the process. I cried a lot less this time, which was helpful.

Saying goodbye was different this time than it was before. A few months ago, I was saying goodbye to a time and a place and a way of living. I was letting go of those trips to bookstores accompanied by a running stream of Lord of the Rings and Princess Bride quotes. I was reconciling myself to a little less poetry in my life. I had to figure out a new way to express the ideas that I was once able to say to him face-to-face. It was a lot to say goodbye to. So I cried the first time he left.

By the time he came back, I’d remembered how to do the bookstores and The Lord of the Rings and the poetry without him. And we’d talked while he was gone. Life had continued and I was in one piece.

Problem was, this time I had to actually say goodbye to him. That was when I got scared. Even clutching my security blanket of poems and e-mails and The Two Towers, I found myself irrationally and terribly afraid I was going to lose my friend once there was an ocean between us.

I don’t like feeling afraid, so I wrote this and sent it to him:

Vous avez mon coeur
I told you yesterday that my worst tendency is to over-invest in people. It’s the worst because there aren’t so many people as you’d think who will invest back at you, so it ends up being this sort of diminishing return situation that I hear isn’t so good. Like buying a car and you feel really great about it at first but then the car gets old and all the money you spend to keep it running is going into some black hole, and you’d love to give up on the car but that means starting over and that means that all the money you’ve spent is officially and really gone and now you have nothing to drive.
Vous avez mon coeur
Maybe you’ll think it’s odd or strange or something not quite right that I keep repeating that phrase. Maybe I chose the wrong words. But maybe you’ll understand by the end. 
Vous avez mon coeur
I’m worried I’ll over-invest in you. But I told you that already, so this isn’t exactly revelatory information. Maybe the new part of this is my wishing you’d actually responded to that statement when I made it. Maybe the new part of this is that I still need reassurance sometimes. Because maybe the worst part of this is that the only lies I’m good at telling are the ones meant to tear myself down.
Vous avez mon coeur
Do you understand it yet?
Vous avez mon coeur
Maybe I should have put something in there about “friends” so there wasn’t confusion. But I don’t remember the French word for friend. I know the Elvish word for friend, and I know how that can be a password and an inside joke. But I don’t know the French word for friend, so I suppose you’ll have to add it yourself, if you want.

A bit dramatic, I know.  But I know the French for “my friend” now. So let’s forget the drama for a minute, and instead let’s just say that mon ami is a very patient and understanding individual. Let’s just say that I’ll miss him dreadfully, but that I’m not scared anymore.


One thought on “Reassuring

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