Friday, February 13, 2009
It was the day to do it and there was no way around it. The sun was high up in the sky and the air was crackling slightly with a hint of cold, and it was the perfect day to go walking or riding and not the day to be sweating here at the apartment, lifting a heavy brown sofa and some chairs and trying to avoid being crushed by them as we pulled them down the steep stairway, and lifting them yet again onto the bed of the truck and managing to tie them with found rope and belts and bungee cords; this was definitely not the day for this, but there was no other day because today he was leaving and I didn’t really want him to go but there was no way around it and, back when we first sat in the living room and talked, back when he nodded his head in an attempt at friendly shyness, with his brown hair in a mess of half combed curls and his hands folded over his dirty ripped jeans, back when he was simply a nuisance that gave me a few laughs over breakfast and sometimes over dinner, if neither of us had a girl staying overnight, all the way back to that day when we talked and he told me that he was moving, that he had found the "one", whatever he meant by that, and he was going away and I just shrugged and said "cool" and nodded my head intending to show clear and unequivocal nonchalance, that day I also said, "well, when the day comes to move all your stuff out, I will help you…" and he said, "are you sure? I don’t want to be that big a hassle, it’s going to be a lot of stuff, you know, I’ve lived here longer than you have…" and when he said that I remembered the first day I showed up, when I came to be interviewed by this smiling little guy who was only a little older than me, and I tried to be serious and he saw me being serious and he offered me some pot and I smiled and hesitated, but then he nodded and squeezed his left eye in something that was not quite a wink, letting me know that it truly was ok to take it, and I did, and we sat on the same brown sofa, the same one where we sat when he told me he was leaving, and we sat there for hours smoking pot and telling old jokes and remembering old girlfriends and that very same day we became roommates and that very same day he told me he would do no further interviews, the whole process was over, and I was living there now, and I brought my stuff a few days later, and it was only a couple of bags and a few boxes, and he laughed at how little I had, and he pointed out how much stuff he had accumulated in the time that he had lived here, and he pointed out the two bikes and he told me I could use one whenever I wanted to, and one of the park trails started right across the street and we could go riding sometime, and in fact, we did, more than once, and we rode all over the park together for entire Saturdays of sunshine and sweat and we smoked pot in the living room every other night and we watched funny movies and made up our own punch lines when the movie just didn’t have enough laughs and we had little parties that sometimes turned into big parties and girls passed out on the same old sofa, the stained brown sofa, and sometimes the girls ended up in his bed and sometimes they ended up in mine, but no matter where they ended up, they would disappear by breakfast, and we were once again alone in the apartment and we were eating Cheerios while going over the details of the party from the night before, and he was shorter and skinnier than I was, but he was so much better at picking up girls that he would pick them up two or three at a time and give me the leftovers which were not bad at all, and we would laugh together later and slap our hands together over our heads and we would smoke some more pot, right on that brown sofa, which was in fact the sofa that was now tied up in the bed of the truck, with found rope and belts and bungee cords and I was standing behind the truck, calling to my friend, telling him how to move the truck, making sure he didn’t hit the walls or the parked cars, making sure he left safely, with his big brown sofa and his jokes and his girls and his easy breakfast and his crazy parties, all tied up behind his truck, all ready to go and never come back. As easily as he took me in, that’s how easily he would leave. And all I could do was help and smile and crack a few more jokes, before the time for laughter truly ended, and we quickly shifted from roommates to friends to acquaintances to names on a cell phone to vague memories of parties and pot and a brown sofa where we used to talk and laugh, a brown sofa which was now tied to the back of a black pickup truck. It was simply the day to do it and there was no way around it.