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To the Moon

One moment I was hanging from Perry’s shoulders, my arms around his neck, a movie in slow motion. The next moment was a series of film frames in fast-forward: My arms rubbed his arms as we pulled apart. Our hands found each other and connected. They loosened and the tips of my fingers grazed his palm, slid over his knuckles. Our fingertips dallied before our arms fell to our sides. Then, the void I was dreading. Roll credits.

One hour ago, we were standing in a smoky bar. It was the last day of finals, and I had just come from a five-hour work shift. We tried and failed to have a conversation because the band was much too loud for the size of the room. I was exhausted, and a bar was the last place I wanted to be. But for Perry’s last night in town, I would have gone to the moon. It felt like I'd been rocketed there already, anyway.

One night ago, we were sharing a twin bed, innocently, his head on the pillow and mine on his shoulder. I was asking him, no, begging him not to go. I was full of ideas to keep him in town for just one more semester. Keep working, get an internship, take another class. Postpone the inevitable. But it was his life moving forward, unstoppable, not mine. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

One week ago, he helped me in through his window late at night after his roommate refused to let me through the door. After I climbed inside, he dealt the first hand. We stayed up until moonset playing cards, never lacking conversation, as always. The Doors were on repeat and I swear that CD looped at least five times before we realized that we both had to go to work in an hour.

One month ago, I was at the time clock when Perry invited me to the party his roommates were throwing that night. Before then, I’d never spent any time with him outside of work. Last minute, I decided to go. We abandoned the party immediately and went into his room to listen to music, playing cards in between sentences. We fell asleep on his bed, friends only, but already anticipating the next time we would see each other.

One minute ago, I was dangling in Perry’s embrace. Now I was alone, vulnerable, as I stood on the curb, willing the movie to switch to rewind. I shut my eyes, wondering how it happened. How we went from strangers to best friends in less than a semester. And how it was ending as quickly as it began. I squeezed my eyes ever tighter, refusing emotion. Turn around, come back! I pleaded silently. One more minute. One more night. One more card game. One more conversation. Let’s rocket to the moon.

One second ago, I opened my eyes, and Perry was out of sight.




Comments

  1. I like how you structured this.

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    1. Thank you. That was indeed my primary focus when I was writing it!

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  2. What nice memories of your fleeting friendship! But how sad too. I wonder, did you ever get back in touch? You did a great job at presenting so many different emotions.

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    1. We did. We didn't have the luxury of facebook or email back then, but we eventually found each other again a year or so later. We're friends to this day. :)

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  3. Reminds me of leaving my boyfriend (now husband) for long breaks from college. I, too, would count days, hours, minutes. Now, those time increments just slip away without notice sometimes.

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    1. That's so true. It makes me think I'm not living "in the moment" anymore. But I think that happens to everyone.

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  4. loved how this read. kind of poetic and sad.

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    1. Thank you! Poetic and sad is what I was going for.

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  5. Great pacing! You could really feel the being pulled apart. I'm glad that you were able to reconnect later on :)

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    1. Thanks! Yep, me too, it's a friendship worth hanging on to. :)

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  6. I really liked the way you wrote this. So sad. But I'm glad to hear that you are still friends to this day.

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  7. This was an interesting read- different and I like it.

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    1. Thanks... I like different. :)

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  8. i really enjoyed reading this.nicely written. and sad.

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  9. I really enjoyed the pacing and the structure. Beautiful and sad, and I am happy that your friendship has lasted!

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  10. This is such a universal experience, retold so beautifully. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that, I was a little worried that nobody would "get" it. I'm happy that everyone is able to relate. :)

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  11. This is lovely -- how you measure the time. It set the post up for really good flow.

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  12. Great portrayal of friendship and a goodbye!

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for reading!

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  13. I'll add my praise to the other comments. I really enjoyed how you structured this story. We don't always remember events sequentially, and you've captured it in this post.

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    1. Thanks so much, I am so thankful for the positive feedback on the structure of this story. It was exactly what I was focusing on the most, and it felt a bit experimental. I'm glad it worked. :)

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  14. I like how you structured this too. So well done. I've been in a similar situation and this really took me right back there. You conveyed the emotions so well.

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  15. I love everything about this. Saying goodbye is never easy especially when you are left wondering--what could have been?

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  16. Daner, Late to the party here, but have to say -- you're awesome. Your ability not just to tell a story -- but totally draw me in and make me relive my own experiences -- incredible.

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  17. Thank you Steph - it means so much that you not only read my stuff but can relate! love you sistah :)

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