Goodbye, Steve – Day 115

My friend moved away today.

He recently mentioned he was going to stay in a hotel for a few days between the time the movers came and his closing. The hell you are, I said. Come stay with me. (Frankly, I think that’s what he was hoping I’d say, and yes, I rose to the occasion). But how do you count a tiny Good Deed like that in the recipe that makes a friendship?

When you hit midlife, stuff happens: people move away, lose their jobs, retire, some die. You start to make your world smaller because you want to surround yourself with the people and things you care about, and then it gets even smaller, all on its own. And you don’t have any say in it.

So today was one of those days. We grilled some hot dogs, because they’re our favorite thing, and watched some bad TV, and laughed a bunch, and then I walked Steve to the corner and put him in a taxi to the airport. Goodbye.

Steve and I had mutual friends, so I knew who he was way before we actually met. That was 25 years ago. When we did finally cross paths, we were on neighboring chaise lounges in Key West. Within a couple of days, he had me move out of my hotel and into the house he was renting so we wouldn’t miss a minute of fun. And we’ve had lots of it – fun, that is – over the years. We also could drive each other crazy, like brothers and sisters do. But he’s the kind of guy you could count on to hold your hair if you were barfing, and lend you money, and keep your secrets, and laugh at your jokes, over and over again. I guess that’s what a friend is: invaluable.

Will I see Steve again? Of course – he moved to Florida, not Mars, and I love the beach. But will we fight about what movie to go see every week? Will I have someone who knows you have to vote for the previews as you watch them, and that first one there gets the tickets and the other guy gets the soda and popcorn? And also knows what my movie treats even are?

No. No, I will not.

Call a friend. Do it now.

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6 Responses to Goodbye, Steve – Day 115

  1. Christina says:

    It just makes me feel better about my own indiscretions when someone who is EVEN OLDER than I am writes that a good friend is someone who will hold your hair back when you’re barfing.

    I finished up your latest post and I DID call a friend, someone I have not spoken to in a long time. Why do we put these things off?

    If you get a hankering to visit Steve in his new Florida digs, let me know. We are in Hollywood, just a little north of Miami, if you are down this way ….

    • Hey, Chris —

      You’re the second one today who said they stopped what they were doing and called an old friend, so I feel like that’s an extra good deed on my part right there!

      Thanks for the visit offer; maybe they’ll be a ONE GOOD DEED book tour!

  2. Had to wipe away a tear on this one. Thank you, Erin, for helping me say “goodbye-for-now” twice– once from my perch on the aforementioned couch, and now from your blog. Here’s what I learned the hard way about friends I love: don’t take them for granted; don’t think there will be always another opportunity to connect because sometimes there isn’t.

    • I learned the hard way, too, Ronni, when I lost a friend in high school. It’s easy to forget, but I think if you always treat someone like you may never see them again (as morbid as that sounds), you end up having fewer regrets.

  3. Maven Lady says:

    You just changed my morning schedule. I have not called a friend of mine in three months. Clearing decks. THANK YOU!

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