succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, June 09, 2007


I was going to say that I'm tired of goodbyes. I still haven't gotten used to not having the Canadians around, last night was Janette's going away party (though technically she's not leaving for two more weeks), Travers is likely moving in the fall, and Reese probably after Christmas. This time inevitably happens, when you're student, but I don't have to get used to it or like it.

But there's one goodbye I didn't get to say. I knew Duncan was dying. I knew for months. And I was paralyzed. Paralyzed by my sadness, by my awkwardness about not keeping in touch with Kris and Duncan while they globe-trotted, paralyzed by my fear of saying the wrong thing. By all the stupid things that we use as excuses for good intentions. For months I completely failed in my friendship to those two. And so I missed it. I missed a chance to hear his voice again, to try to make some inappropriate joke and get him to laugh.

When I got the news yesterday morning I smiled, because the first thing that popped into my head was a good memory - years ago, in Cleveland, hanging out in Kris and Duncan's ghetto apartment. I had finally decided that I was ready to partake in...a certain activity. So the three of us went to our favorite donut shop (Presti's, in Little Italy) and stocked up on sour cream donuts and sugar cookies, then went back to their place and watched anime and played guess how far away the gunshots are (I said it was ghetto). I slept over that night, but had to leave early, and slipped out in the morning without waking them. Just left a note. It's a good memory, it was a great night. It was the last time I saw them.

I thought about them everyday, included them in my nightly prayers, even when I wasn't really sure what I was praying for. I'm too scientifically-minded to genuinely ask for miraculous recovery, and I was hesitant to ask for more time if that meant more time in pain, or more time spent not himself. So most nights I just asked God to be with them, to somehow make this some tiny fraction less awful. But I figure most days Kris and Duncan did that themselves. They're good like that. Hopelessly, beautifully in love, all the time. And happy. I know they made the most of their days and enjoyed them as much as possible. I don't quite have Sid's faith - I can't not be sad. But I can try to celebrate the life.


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