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.