I hate saying goodbye. When I was in college I would always wait until everyone else had gone before I would leave for Christmas break, spring break, and summer break. In my mind it was them saying goodbye to me, therefore taking the pressure off of me. If backed into a corner, I would usually duck and run, avoiding it all together. Goodbyes meant the end of something, usually something that I wanted desperately to continue and most always something that simply could not. I would much rather watch it fade away slowly, like something I could forget about little by little, giving the appearance of a clean break, letting everyone think I was either really strong, or just kind of a cold hearted bitch...
You can imagine the amount of loose ends dangling out there with my name all over them. Relationships, friendships, personal emotional investments, most of them never got the chance to end properly. You can imagine the insurmountable deficit of closure in my life. There would be another time, another place where I could say my goodbyes with the proper finesse and dignity. Life was not finite, nor was it defined. The most naive kind of immortality, I practiced day to day with no regard for the others involved, and ultimately no regard for myself.
There is but one finite goodbye, one that can never be revoked or smiled through. One that can never be taken back or made into a do-over and that is when God has His final word. I will have to say that goodbye tomorrow and I will say it with the utmost, deepest regret.
I am endlessly amazed by people who tell me of their past and speak of their regret. "I should have never told him I loved him," or "I said too much and I scared her." Regret for things that they spoke out of the very same honesty that I hold such a disdain for. My regret is always for things that I didn't say, truths that I couldn't speak, risks that I just couldn't take at the time and the knowledge that someday I will get the chance to say them. I will never get the chance to say the things I should have said so many years ago to my dear friend.
I should have told him how much I loved him, how much I admired him. I should have told him that I was in love with him and I didn't care if he didn't love me as long as he would let me be near him, I would have been satisfied. I wanted to tell him that it was alie when I said I didn't care if he didn't love me. I wanted him to know that I was so sorry that someone hurt him, that he was worth more than what he allowed himself to be sacrificed for. I wanted him to know there were times when he took my breath away and there were times when he was all the air I needed. I wanted to tell him thank you for popping the insular bubble that was my life and showing me beauty and art beyond anything I imagined; and I wanted to tell him to slow down, that he was racing through life and I couldn't keep up and pretty soon I was terrified that I would lose sight of him...and I did.
Tomorrow I will mourn the death of my dear friend, a flamboyant spirit that tore through my universe and ripped it open like a tin can. But more than mourning the loss of a beautiful, gifted man, I will mourn what he lost out on because of my ineptitude at being a three-dimensional creature. He should have known all of those things. He should have heard all of those things and he should have heard them from my lips, no matter how scared or stupid I felt. I cheated him out of a proper goodbye.
And now I can give him nothing but a weak, one-sided, improper goodbye. And he deserved so much more than a bad goodbye.