Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stuff I've Learned: Friends Move Away

I have a friend--let's call her Poetess. Poetess and I met during grad school and instantly connected over our love of tea, food, common alma mater and left-brained husbands. Over the years, she's been the kind of friend I can meet for lunch and spend an entire afternoon with, laughing and commiserating over something or another.

This week, she's moving out of the City. Like so many other friends I've met since moving here, she is leaving (her husband got a job in another city), and God knows when I'll see her again. Hopefully soon, but it's hard. I have friends I love in LA who I haven't seen in almost five years.

Maybe it's just my circle of friends, but sooner or later, the question of leaving always comes up , and, in many cases, the answer is "It's time." She's at least the fourth close girlfriend of mine to leave the city in the last few years, and every time, there's a space left in my life that is never quite filled again. And I wonder, is there something about NYC that makes a person feel there will always be an end? Do most of us come knowing it will be home just for a little while, not forever?

In a city where it's so hard to break through people's defenses and find a true friend (especially when you're out of school), each person lost is not easily replaced. Could this be why, I, too, think I'll eventually leave? And if so, can I ever convince myself this City is home?

Today, we had shared our last pots of tea, and said our final goodbye on a corner in Astor Place. "I'll be back," she said. To visit, she meant. And I promised her I'd try to visit too.

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