there is a scene in the last episode of buffy the vampire slayer that is fairly gut-wrenching if you’re a fan of the show. the ensemble is getting ready for the big battle to end all big battles (for real this time) and the entire cast is in this small hallway. the characters who have joined the cast over the last 7 or so years sort of trickled away, leaving the original 4 characters alone. after a moment of “typical” banter where nobody really chooses to acknowledge that there really might not be a tomorrow, one falls away and the last 3 walk down the hall to their stations, again with the witty talk that distracts them from what’s about to happen. then there are 2. then just one.
that’s what the last few days felt like to me.
saturday we had a grand fete for two friends who were moving away tuesday morning. they were planning on leaving monday, but didn’t want to leave on my birthday. that’s how cool they are. they had been staying with us for the past month, which as potentially dangerous as that sounds was actually incredibly cool. i don’t think i could have handled it as long had it been any other couple, but for me, it only served to cement what had become a very special set of friendships. on saturday night, someone asked me if i was ready to say good bye to will and gina and i said, “i haven’t said good bye to them in a month.” i’ve said “good night”, “have a nice day at work”, and other very, very temporary words of departure, but nothing even close to “see you in a few months, maybe.”
anyway, back to my analogy…
saturday we had the “whole cast” basically, which by the end of the evening whittled down to smaller and smaller groups. and then sunday the four of us ate leftovers with another couple. watching hans and kristan say good bye was rough. it brought a level of realism that i wasn’t quite prepared for.
monday night i fixed dinner for just the four of us and as the evening slowly dragged on, it was hard to go to bed. going to bed meant that this day was over, and the next day they’d be gone. we spent the evening sort of skirting the topic. they had to plan a route, but didn’t want to look to closely at the maps. there were a couple of things that still needed to be packed up/dealt with, but nobody wanted to look too closely at why we were doing any of it.
this morning we got up early and in the fog of not-enough-sleep helped them pack their cars. and they left.
and now our house is so empty.