He confirmed in person that he's packing a U-Haul and getting rid of his apartment and driving later this week to his new city for permanent, not just for temporary. He confirmed in person that a primary reason he's going is because his new girlfriend lives there.
I knew I had to go out and stay out late. Even if exhausting. Even though there'd be no time to talk seriously. Or for me to demand that after everything, he apologize for, like, getting a girlfriend without telling me. C-2 has lived in Massachusetts all his 40-plus years and he's leaving rather suddenly. He has many, many folks other than me to say goodbye to.
As I drove him and another guy friend across Somerville from bar #1 to bar #2, the friend leaned forward and begged that C-2 spill details about the new woman. I looked straight ahead and drove, flattered that C-2 had the decency to hesitate before answering, sitting there in the seat where, the last time he sat there, I was on his lap and he kissed me so hard my lips bruised.
(Strange, this being friends with boys who were once more than friends. I wonder if I've reached my emotional saturation point with this demographic.)
Later in the drive, to amuse guy friend and maybe to make a point, I asked C-2 if he remembered the night he sang nonsense lyrics and banged on a tambourine (a stray in my backseat) with the vigor that only a man who drinks Jameson and Guinness can provide, the entire 25 minutes it took us to drive from Southie to Davis Square. This was also the night we stayed up past sunrise next to Spy Pond.
Again, he paused.
"I remember everything about that night," he said.Full stop.
I was glad he said that, because I couldn't make myself say what I was thinking, which was,
"Yes. Me too. I remember most of every time we've been together, actually. I remember that night you said how good we were together and I agreed and we talked about seeing each other much more often. And how I tried to and then you flaked, working too hard and then, when not working too hard, leaving and meeting someone. I hate that you said all these things you didn't follow up on and now you're gone."When we got to bar #2 he followed me in, and I turned and asked him if he wanted a Guinness. He paused, put a hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, said,
"Hey. Thanks. Thanks for hanging out."I would have preferred he be an obnoxious ass so I could hate. But I can't. I've just earned the right to regret. Now I just have to suck it up and move on.
Which meant that after the bar closed and we said goodbye and I drove home alone, it was somewhere in the 93S tunnels that a Guinness-fueled helplessness came up my throat and filled my eyes and ears and before I could resist, brought on great sobs. I sobbed the rest of the way home. I cried until I fell asleep.
But today was not a bad day.
And I'm sucking it up and moving on.
(Well, trying to, anyway.)