Good bye


A good friend of the Cernos’ is migrating with his family to a cold, non third world place far away. The departure has been an odd experience for us and our group of friends. We feel happy at the break our friend is getting. Yet there is a vague sinking sense of loss that we don’t want to verbalise. This post is an attempt to sort out the oddness of it all.

The news of the departure triggered a slew of “because x and co. are going” weekend lunches and dinners within Our Group of Friends. Mrs C and I had the whole gang over to our hovel for such a feed. Everyone turned up which made the event an ideal time to distribute invites to the next event.

We generously over ordered the meat dishes (we plant eaters are hopeless at estimating sizes of meat portions). The quantity and quality of booze was also expensively overestimated. I splurged on Johnnie black label in addition to the usual male (beer) and female (wine) drinks. Its the first time I’ve bought Johnnie for consumption under my own roof. It was happily emptied allowing the Absolut to live another day. I felt our friend was worth it.

The conversations at all these events avoided reminiscing. We jokingly “booked” places at his future place when we visit. The men took turns to demonstrate their esoteric insights on airlines, tickets, and travel agents. Discussion of practical matters about the move to a new life were left to the wives.

X has the skills and visa to find a career advancing job even in these ressioned times. No one can argue that at his stage of career, age and family situation it is a smart move. The elephant in the room is knowledge of “X and co” will be out of our regular social orbit. The thought feels curiously cold and parched.

I sense the main feeling is that our social group might begin to drift. We know that friendships, as with anything, change in face of the weather system of life. X is the common node that brought us all together. His honest hello machang laid backness was our social glue. I think he even initiated some of the outstation trips that consolidated many friendships.

How the group will cope without its unofficial “anchor” is uncertain. It is clear that an era is ending for all of us. We are farewelling the comfortably predictable, uncomplicated social dynamics of what will soon be called “those days”.

Soon Mrs C and I will do the “drop in” to his place on the evening of his departure. We will discuss the weather “over there” and other inconsequentials before the last handshake/hug. The next morning, the grind of the morning commute awaits. For X and co, a pre dawn ride to the airport and a new life. Change is the only constant. We are adult enough to know that. I think that knowledge saves everyone from the mire of sentimentality.

6 comments

  1. I hate goodbyes.😦 I know what you mean about how it feels when the glue that holds a bunch of friends together goes off. I guess you can look forward to ‘X is back in town’ meetups. I certainly do when my ‘glue’ friend drops in.🙂

    Wish X and co. all the best in his new location.🙂

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  2. Phew! Thought you were packing up the blog!

    I guess we live in age now where friendships are more defined by access to the internet than geographical proximity. But friends, especially the good ones, leaving is always difficult.

    Great post Cerno!

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  3. It is very difficult to understand friendships. Some you forget in few years but some even though apart for years, seems like you were with them yesterday. Sometimes I wonder about how my parents have developed their friendships, which seem to be many and strong. For me it is much different. Many weak friendships with a few strong, no very strong ones thrown in.
    But at the campus, just open a Johnnie and you will have more friends than you want. But that is what frat houses give you, some long lasting bonds. I hope to develop at least some friendships in the next few years while living in this frat house. (I cheat, I go home most of the time😉
    I still have to learn from my parents, to invest time on friends like they do🙂

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  4. Delilah : quite true

    Chavie :🙂 “glue” friends – good term. I never thought about the possibility of ‘X is back in town’ meetups. I think that’s quite far down that track though similar things are lined up to happen now that the end of year “season” is upon us.

    Vindi : It’s going to be a long while before I pack up the blog! Quite true about friendships being defined by the internet these days. Think I’m in denial about that though. Personally I feel that internet based friendships to have a strange narrow focus. Specially with the lack of non verbal (or text) cues. Happy you liked the post

    Magerata : Interesting comment there. By “frat” house do you mean American fraternities? Realised something when you mentioned weak and strong friendships. They are hard to define but you know when you encounter them. Also age, time and life experiencecan both weaken and strengthen friendships. In the end I guess all relationships change and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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