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I love goodbyes

I’ve found that in important conversations, especially the important parts of important conversations, it’s a lot like pulling the rip cord on your parachute. Words can act like a nylon canopy or an anvil. Having experienced the latter frequently I also know how it feels to fumble and pull the back-up cord only to see a grand piano emerge. A Steinway at that… at least I’m elegant in my ineloquence.

Words have always been a problem. This need to fill a conversation the same way you’d overstuff a piece of luggage for a short trip. Just putting too damn much in. Insert your own ‘baggage’ metaphor here.

That’s why I love goodbyes.

Beating fate to the punch. My memory is filled with incidents that I wish didn’t happen. Incidents that would never have happened if I’d have gone to goodbye earlier. Most of my regrets center around the issue of saying goodbye too late. Or, even worse, having it said to me when I should have been the one saying it.

Ruining good memories forever.

So I say goodbye early. Closing things out while I still have this nice little memory instead of rolling the dice. Sure I wonder occasionally about what might have been but it’s still a safer play to say goodbye.

I remember in New Brunswick a lot of years back there was this girl at the bar. Beautiful girl. We talked and she seemed about as perfect as a girl can get. I asked her what he favorite song was and she blushed and replied “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. I turned and as I walked away I looked back for a moment and said goodbye. To this day, if she even remember it herself, she must have thought she said the absolute god-awful wrong thing… and to this day I think about how that answer was the absolute god-awful right one. It was the perfect one. So I still have that girl in my head all pretty and perfect.

Because I said goodbye.

Someone once told me that the pain you feel upon having someone leave your life is a good thing because it showed that you’d experienced something with that person. It was the check coming after a nice meal. The something you experienced could be anything, good or bad. It was life distilled down to a series of interactions. What better way to end it than with a well thought out goodbye.

Think about all the people that have left your life and think about how few got the goodbye they deserved. Isn’t there a part of you that wished you could jump back in time and actually say the things that you would have wanted to leave them with?

Words will always be a problem. Each with their double-meanings and subtext. Our tongues shaping the air leaving our lungs in a clumsy attempt to convey meaning. Groping in the dark to find just the right way to turn a phrase or wishing that you’d have left that air as an exhale as opposed to a sentence. Spewing out enough verbal rope to hang ourselves 5 times over so we use the extra to hang others that find themselves with the misfortune of being within earshot and unlucky enough to care about the words stumbling out of our pieholes.

So keep a goodbye handy at all times. Practice on people you don’t care about and it gets easier. You’ll find that cutting people off doesn’t make the communications as hollow as you’d think it would. In fact, when  you start adding people to your mental scrapbook in tidy caricatures you’ll appreciate them more. Seems to me the more we connect with people the less poignant those moments become anyway.

Ever wonder why the best romance movies end after an hour and a half? Who wants to live out happily ever after? Even buddy movies get dull after a couple hours after the and car chases subside.

Interact. Appreciate it. Credits. See what else is on.

I love goodbyes.

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