Secret Pop

Oct 23, 2005

Long Goodbye

Loren got it started. The festivities were beginning to break up at Jonah's goodbye party, and Loren told me that reading the thread of posts between me and Krissy on the comedy theater listserv was what finally made it kick in for him.

She's leaving.

Tears started welling up in my eyes immediately. I was saying goodbye to Krissy for the night. But in a week or two, I will be saying goodbye to her altogether. She and Dorian are moving away. Starting a new and different life. Preparing for Baby Zoe. And Jonah is leaving for his new job and his new town and his new everything that same week. Smiling and happy. Excited about what comes next. As well he should be. My Jonah Bear. Leaving.

It's like everything is turning upside down at once.

Krissy and Becky and I went shopping today for Halloween supplies and costume ideas. It was so dismal and grey out. The sun never emerged. There was this blanket of gloom. A misty veil of sad autumn weather. Autumn is where the ending begins.

And I had this continual feeling of déjà vu. Mid-october. Goodbyes. I realized I was being taken back to the autumn of 2001, when I was leaving San Diego for Los Angeles and whatever the calendar pages held. My leaving was abrupt. My job offer came just as September 11 was happening. I had to move and start work all at the same time. I never had a goodbye party. I remember my last practice at the comedy theater. People didn't even stay after to have a drink with me. I left feeling sad and jilted. I went over to The Living Room and wrote in my journal and made friends with someone who thought I looked interesting.

Everything was so uncertain then. And I felt more alone than I ever have. Striking out on my own. But also being abandoned to it. With nearly no support system. Nearly no well-wishing. A motel room and a job waiting for me. And a notebook to write in in tiny pencil print.

We drove down drizzle-spattered streets that might as well have been those same 2001 streets. To the foot of Mount Helix. Through Clairemont. Down Sixth Avenue. Past Balboa Park. It was nighttime all day today. It was bleak and cruel and colorless. And looking forward felt like paying lipservice. Everything is ending.

So there I was at Jonah's party, drinking punch and catching up. And Loren mentioned that reading what Krissy and I wrote to each other on the listserv made it all hit home. And the tears started to come. And each time I tried to deny them, they welled up more insistently.

I love her so much. Krissy. I love that girl so much. Krissy and Dorian are family to me. I love them the way you love the ones you have to love. Only I don't have to love them, and I do anyway. Effortlessly. They are so special to me. I can't write a sentence that would do them justice.

As I was driving home, Wake Me Up When September Ends was playing on the radio, and tears began to sprout from my eyes. Spilling out onto my cheeks, despite my attempts to brush them away. My poor eyes have suffered so much this weekend. There is no hope that they will look pretty again before the new week begins. I wonder if they will ever look pretty again. Asian girls are ugly when they cry. It's a fact.

I always say this is my favorite time of year. The spate of months whose names end in "ber." The smell of fireplace aftermath. The seasonal goodwill. The preparation of turkey feasts. Days that get shorter. Nights that come sooner. Turtleneck weather. Long sleeve weather. Socks weather. Scarf weather. This used to be my favorite time of year. But it's almost as if its former favored status is its worst enemy. All the things that once made it sweet threaten to turn it bitter now. Memories of how such things ever became favorite. Spoiled. It gets so that looking back is distasteful. And how I used to glory in my nostalgia and melancholy. How less glorious when it all turns wry.

I have lived in Los Angeles for four years now. How can that be? Shouldn't I be graduating from something? Matriculating in some fashion? Shouldn't I have more signatures in my yearbook? For all my diligence in saving everything, I don't seem to have been able to save anything at all. It all washes away. Ebbs into the distance. Pulls out beyond reach. There are all these stars in the sky, and you can't catch a single one. Not if your arms were as long as the street you live on. There are no stars on your street. No matter how far you drive.

I have been utterly ineffectual. The rainforests. The ozone layer. Israel. Blame it all on me. I haven't done a goddamned thing.

Everything is always ending. That's how it was made.

There's a reason I have to skip ahead when Saying Goodbye from The Muppets Take Manhattan comes up in the music mix.

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