Last night I cried

I cried for a good, long time. You see, Dodo, one of my best friends, and his wife are moving to Portland at the end of this month. And I was at home last night, making a going-away CD for him and I put on bunch of songs that he and I grew up with – and it got to be too much. I cried. Sarah came downstairs and cried for/with me. I cried thinking about our first year of college, this time of year 13 years ago, when I saw this dude sitting on the steps of where we both lived and saying “Holy shit, man. We graduated high school together.” And Dodo going, “We did?” And becoming best buds right then. My allergies going crazy – Doug wearing his glasses – sharing a love for Dune, Blade Runner, video games, and music, music, music. Taking walks down to Hastings and drives out to Clinton Lake to smoke and get away from school. Playing On the Edge with Fly Guy for hour upon hour. Thinking about after that first year and a half, when I moved back to KC and Doug kept at school for a bit longer, and at that time honestly thinking that I wouldn’t see Doug too much ever again and that we’d probably grow apart like Fly Guy and I did for a few years, but that didn’t happen because Doug seemed to be coming down to Olathe and hanging out more and more often with me and my new circle of friends (it was probably more the draw of abundant illicit substances, but still…). And I’m thinking about Doug in his one-bedroom studio just off-campus at KU and then him moving into the townhouse with Sam (and Doug’s 6+ year dramatic mess thereafter with that loony ass) and then Doug moving to that monster of a house that survived Quantrill’s Raid and playing Armored Core and deliving pizzas for Gumby’s (and sharing bowls behind the store while listening to Art Bell) and Doug and his dad teaching me to water ski, road-tripping to Tsali, NC for a week of mountain biking in the Smokies and all 13 years of memories just keep coming – Doug moving to Springfield with us just because he wanted a change of scenery and then moving back after a year because come to find out the scenery in Springfield wasn’t all that good and playing game after game after game of Mordheim with him and Fly and Eco and going to the strip club one Valentine’s Day with homemade cards for all the strippers and all of us winning Best Group Costume year after year and I think of all the smokes we’ve shared and all the talks about the great books we’ve been reading and what bands we’ve been listening to and me starting to date Sarah and him reconnecting with Jes not 3 months later and him proposing to her at a waterfall in Yellowstone and me doing the same with Sarah 3 months later at a waterfall in the Ozarks and helping them move into their first house and them helping us move into our first house and it all got to be just too much. It’s just about too damn much right now as I’m typing it all out.

You’re lucky to get friends like I have, let alone lucky enough to share such a huge chunk of life together. If you do get that lucky, it’s a once in a lifetime thing. I can’t really imagine making connections nowadays like those ones I forged back then, where my friends became part of my family. Those times lived through and the memories taken away are what your life becomes when you’re 90 years old and sitting on your front porch, pipe in mouth, watching the sun go down for perhaps the last time. Kinda sounds from the tone of this thing that Doug’s dying – but he’s not – he’s moving on to do something he’s always wanted to do (helicopter school). I’m just being a Debbie Downer and mourning the end of the luxury of having such a great friend in my life, so close-by, for so awfully long. If there’s one thing I wish upon Roman, other than good health and fortune, it’s good friends. I extend that wish to both Doug and Jes: good health, good fortune and, of course, good friends…for as long as you are away, however long that may be.

You need people with whom you can experience scary times and funny times and stressful times and painful times. And you need people who can embarrass you with tales about all those times at some point down the road. Your life is ultimately a story you tell yourself and others. And a life without good friends is the saddest story I can imagine.

Last night I cried

13 thoughts on “Last night I cried

  1. FlyGuy says:

    DUDE!!!! You’re making me get all choked up over here! I was doing good not really getting sad… and then you have to go and mix up the dirt. Man thinking about it really makes you stop… he’s moving away… and what really sucks is I’m HORRIBLE at long distance stuff (just ask Ton). It’s one of the reasons I have been trying to game with Dodo on Tuesdays so much… I want to try to get it all in. Man I can just picture the days of room 303 with the swirl of colors on the wall, Danzig, the birth of PRO-V and the creation of the Dodos studies song (a class Jay and I will sing for you anytime, Dodo). And who can forget Odo and Podo… and Dodos GREATEST nickname Odie the Monkey Boy!

    Man the stories we could tell… and even better the ones we can’t.

  2. Cheers!

    It reminds me of On Friendship: Laelius I was just reading man. He’s speaking of mourning the death of a great friend, though…slightly different but it’s a great definition of friendship. I think I’d be upset if Matt moved away. [don’t think i need to worry about that in the least at this point] I think he’s the equivalent of your Dodo.

  3. dodo says:

    I started reading this post Friday afternoon at work. I got to about the third line and had to stop. I tried again a few more times at work, but I couldn’t do it. You can’t post stuff like this during the workday, bro. I can’t do my job when I’m all choked up trying not to break down. As soon as I got home I wanted to head straight for the computer so I could finally read the whole damn thing. Instead I spent some time hugging my wife while she cried, because she’d read the damn thing at work and couldn’t let herself cry all day. Then I sat down and read this post. Damnit, Jay. It’s Saturday night and I’m just now able to sit here and think straight enough to write.

    Man, I started to write a whole bunch of stuff about how I knew it’d be hard to leave KC, but I didn’t think it’d be this hard. I’m not gonna do that. It’s very true, it’s gonna hurt to go. It already hurts. But I don’t want to write all that shite write now. It started sounding too much like some Campfire-Therapy-Male-Bonding-Hear-Me-Roar-I-Love-You-Man kind of thing. I don’t wanna do that. So I deleted it.
    Instead, I wrote what you see below. (it pretty much sums up what I was writing in the campfire shit anyway.)

    Lessons I’ve learned over the years from (and because of) my oldest and dearest friends:
    -I’m a sloppy roommate.
    -Watch what you say. Most of your friends have a dirtier mind and quicker wit than you do.
    -A Glory Hound bleeds more than other people because he seems to think that his mountain bike will steer itself.
    -Being a geek is more fun that being an asshole.
    -If bad things happen on a friend’s couch, that friend really doesn’t want to know them.
    -Drugs cause weird things.
    -Cheap champagne causes funny things.
    -If someone writes a song about you, be honored, no matter how wrong or horrible that song is.
    -Neither you nor your friends look good in pleather chaps.
    -When life nails you full in the face, friends clean your eye so you can punch back.
    -Three o’clock in the morning is an excellent time to explore the existence of the universe.
    -Seven o’clock in the morning is a good time to ask for a map back to reality.
    -‘Mom’ jokes are fuckin hilarious.
    -No matter how stupid you are, your friends will probably tell you.
    -No matter how stupid you are, your friends will still love you.
    -Friends don’t say ‘Goodbye.’ They say ‘See ya later.’

  4. FlyGuy says:

    Damn! So I read your reply Dodo and it made me sad… it wasn’t until I read it outloud to Mrs Fly that I cried… then my loving wife pointed out that we are just like girls, that made me laugh again.

  5. sorry, dode, to hit you at work like that. i just had a real rough night thurs night thinking about everything we’d done and seen and knew if i didn’t write it out, i’d be liable to miss something – which i’ve inevitably done anyway. i didn’t even talk about the time i took your jeep to benchwarmers without asking your permission and how you managed not to beat my ass for it i’ll never know…

  6. Mrs. Dodo says:

    You guys are killing me. Last week was definitely a hard week for both of us. I keep thinking of the things we will miss with all of you and finding everything new. Both of us have friendships that started decades ago and have had the thought that we will grow old with all of you – right next to you – and this is the hardest to deal with. Just know that you are always welcome and it is only a plane ride away!

  7. sarah says:

    i second mrs. fly. you are all girls. 🙂

    and i second dodo’s observation that it is infinitely more desirable to be a geek than an asshole. i will take it further and say it is far better to be a sentimentalist than a stoic.

    now i’m going to stop reading before i get sad too.

  8. Mrs. Dodo says:

    It might be in everyone’s best interest to post something new…it is beautiful outside. Nice fall weather and there
    must be something going on other than us moving…Just wait for the party Saturday and you’ll be able to post some
    kickass photos of all of us. We have something planned…

    Are you happy now?