The reality is that I'm leaving some amazing people. People who make me smile with the simple presence of suspenders. A lost goatee makes me upset and a simple cigarette in a familiar hand makes me smile and ignore the taste of tobacco it puts in my eyes and ears and mouth. I'm leaning on old friends. People who I worked with and for and I'm not losing touch, and it's comforting. I smile at people under the stars and sky of Lincoln, Neb., and for now I know that I'm not walking out of lives, just away, for a little while. We all have to, I think. Well, OK. Some of us anyhow. But it doesn't feel bad or guilty or lost. I put phone numbers into my cell phone and I take pictures of people smiling and talk about the times that we _______. You know those times. It's hard. I'm learning. It's hard.
But it makes it easier to keep friendships alive, I think. And I've decided there's people I need to say certain things to. Things like "I'm sorry it took me so long to realize that you mean something eternal to me. Thanks."