June 10, 2008

Four Dining Friends

I packed and packed and packed, and then my friend Laura arrived. We stopped by the Farmer's Market for some fruit, had Indian Palace buffet while Buckaroo slept in the backpack-- so cheap and tasty-- then we headed out to Anthropologie. I should know that any store pronounced with an accent is out of my price range. It's Laura's birthday week, though, and she was splurging, and I still have all that moving anxiety to mask. I think I left a couple of limbs there.
I bought Laura these Nara Girl postcards because I thought these are the faces she'll make when she thinks about me in The Woods. Grumpy faces. The girls smokes, and one of the cards even says F**K on it.
I met Laura in poetry class in college at the same time I met Sweet Potato's dad, so that means we've been friends for fifteen-ish years. We boogied to Brut Max together. I was imagining that our goodbye would include mucho sobbing, but it didn't. Just when I started to get teary, Laura said, "You're not really going away. You're just going on vacation, and you'll be back in two weeks," then she swept her long, brown locks over her shoulder, hopped into her mini-van and drove away.
Except for all of the packing and giving away everything we own, that's pretty much how it feels.
Then I changed into my new Anthro outfit and dashed back out to Berkeley for a last Thai supper with four poet-friends at Sabuy Sabuy2. We giggled and got a bit rowdy with our hand gestures, and there was a lot of heavy sighing at the table.
My friend Katherine sat right next to me. Katherine is very matter-of-fact about the details. " How will we deal with this change? Let's make a plan," she says. "Let's write, call, e-mail every month. Let's meet every summer."
But at one quiet moment during dinner we looked at each other, and her face was so sad, and she had the roundest puppy eyes. Goodbye eyes.
The four of us are embarking on some huge-O changes, and I hope we'll all be stronger, braver, better, more beautiful when we see each other again on the other side.

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