Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not with a bang but a whimper

by Lisa

Transitions, change, saying goodbye. There's no way to express the emotion with cohesion and clarity.

In a few months, I'll be leaving for Chicago. And I have friends moving on, as well, to other things, and places: China, Guatemala, marriage. I'm not quite sure what it looks like to say goodbye, because what is going and what/who is staying has become so confuddled, diffused like an electron cloud. Because I can say that I'm leaving Berkeley, but I'm also taking parts of it with me. And of course, whenever I return to it in future visits, it won't be the same.

Berkeley, you have been good to me. Rough, too. The city, the classes, the people, the bus lines, the restaurants (oh, the restaurants), the noise, the strangers. I think I will miss you.

I started to make a mental list of things I should do before I leave Berkeley, like Eat At Cheeseboard For A Week Straight So That I Get Too Sick Of It To Miss It, things like that. Or, dine downstairs at Chez Panisse, eat at À Côté, appreciate Berkeley Bowl. All those concrete things are good, they're easy to measure, and to check off a list. But how do you make sure you've spent enough time with your closest friends, and made sure they know that you've appreciated their friendship? That you don't know what you would have done if they hadn't been there to see you through your hardest moments, when there couldn't have been enough Kleenex boxes around, or minutes to sit together in the silence before you both had to get back to the paper that was due the next day? That through the sacrifices of their time, love, and lives, they've challenged you to be the best you could be, that they weren't afraid to tell you that you needed to change - to prune a part of yourself - for the better? That you're going to miss the way they imitate and mock you; or the way they complete your sentences, and you, theirs?