Saying A Sunday Good-bye

I should have simply entitled this post “Things At Which I Totally Suck” and been done with it. Saying good-bye and letting go – especially of friends and family – is just not one of my favorite things to do. And I tend to be bad at it – at least emotionally – so my good-byes are short, and hopefully sweet, so I can get the hell out and try to move on without too much damage. Not for wanting to leave, but for not wanting to prolong the pain.

It usually happens on a Sunday morning, and no matter how sunny or nice the day, it might as well be pouring rain and drizzling unhappiness. Often, it will be JoAnn leaving our home in upstate New York, or Kira saying goodbye in Boston – but no matter what, the same heartsick feeling results – even when I know I’m going to see them again. It’s the loss of proximity, the lost of camaraderie, the loss of the comfort of being near a loved one. That can never be matched or even very much mitigated by texting or Skyping or anything else. Sometimes you just have to be close to someone to feel better.

Liza Minnelli had one of the greatest good-byes as Sally Bowles at the end of ‘Cabaret’. As she bids her lover farewell, she turns and walks away. He watches her go, and with a little backward wave of her hand without looking back, she acknowledges the moment and continues on her way. I always thought she was crying a little when she did that – mostly because that’s what I tend to do. So if we say good-bye, chances are I won’t look back, but it’s not because I don’t want to – I just don’t want anyone to see me crying.

The same feeling settles over me whenever it comes time to leave Boston. I usually depart early, to get it over with, and to get back into the mindset of the daily grind, mentally forcing myself back to work, back to home, back to husband. I do not look in the rearview mirror, I look straight ahead – West to upstate New York, yonder to Albany. Boston is behind me, to be revisited at another time. The good thing is that only a chapter is done. There will be more to come.

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