Going Away Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Because 'Leaving In The Mystery Wagon' was a shitty song.

You will no doubt be shocked to find out that I’m moving to Los Angeles in 12 days. Yes, I know, this comes out of left field – up until now I’ve made no mention of it, and I’m sure the news is completely blindsiding you. In the future, I’ll try and find a more eloquent way to let people know what’s going on, perhaps by making an endless parade of blog updates about every facet of my preparations for the upcoming trip, continuing long after everyone has quit caring. Obviously, though, that is not the case right now, and for that I apologize.

Right. Well, anyway…

This is the last long stretch of time I’ll be spending in Oregon for the foreseeable future, and as a result I’ve been trying to put it to good use seeing friends and classmates before I leave. To that end, I just recently took a four-day stroll down Memory Lane in Salem, and, like most lanes, streets, and boulevards in Salem, it was lined with shuttered businesses and meth addicts asking for spare change. (Some friends from high school were in there, too.)

It was great to see the Salem people who I’d missed, but at the end of each of our little reunions – and, really, most meetings I’ve had with friends since graduation – there was always an awkward moment that played out something like this:

Classmate: “So… Am I ever going to see you again?”
Me: “Oh… Yeah, sure! I’ll be in and out. Christmas. You know how it is.”

It’s difficult to stand in an Applebee’s parking lot and predict the future with any degree of certainty, unless you’re trying to predict whether you’re going to go to Applebee’s again in your life, in which case the answer is clearly ‘No.’ Moreover, having someone flat out ask you if this is the last time they’ll see you is unnerving under all conditions.

Will I see you again? I can say with a lot of certainty that I would like to see you again, yes – I’m thankful to have as many great friends as I do, both because of their endless support and because they serve as something of a forge in which the inspiration for new blog updates is created, giving me raw material which I can take back to my computer and smelt into comedy, sort of like I’m doing now.

But the hard answer that I’m reluctant to give in public – and that I feel like a douchetruck for saying on my blog, even – is that in many cases, the answer might be ‘probably not.’

I don’t say that out of any sort of malice or lack of interest or desire to break with my old Oregon connections as I start my new life – I say it because if I learned one thing while failing to produce an independent film this past term, it’s that logistics and coordinating people is a bitch when everybody lives in the same city over a long period of time. When you’re dealing with geographically disparate friends for a weeklong period on and around the single biggest family holiday in the Western hemisphere, it’s about as easy as chopping down a tree with your wang.

I know this to be true, and I like to think of myself as a somewhat straightforward person, but when one of your friends asks if they’re ever going to see you again, you’ve got to be a ‘David Caruso in Jade’ quality asshole to look them dead in the face and say, “No.”

Really, the proper reply is “I don’t know” – because I don’t. Maybe we’ll both be in the same place at the same time and we’ll be able to make something happen. Or maybe I’ll be with my family and you’ll be at church or in Michigan or whatever other people do for Christmas.

“I don’t know” is the most truthful answer, but it still sounds like a purposefully indifferent David Caruso response to a friend who’s concerned that this is your last face-to-face meeting. “I guess time will tell” might work a little better, but only so long as you’re not standing near the body of somebody who was murdered with a clock, in which case you’ve once again strayed into Caruso territory.


In a few days I’m going to a wedding that will be attended by virtually my entire social circle from the past four years and will undoubtedly be the last time I see a lot of them. I’m still trying to figure out how emotional that experience is going to be – the presence of alcohol will definitely influence the outcome, as will the ever-tantalizing opportunity to steal attention from the bride and groom on the most important day of their lives.

When I watched the (fantastic) episode of The Office where Michael leaves Dunder Mifflin, I thought it was a typically stupid Michael Scott decision for him to secretly leave the day before his going away party. Now, though, I kind of get it. Saying goodbye is exhausting. Sneaking out the backdoor, though, is the coward’s way out, and even David Caruso in Jade wouldn’t do that.

Truman Capps is sure that David Caruso is probably a very friendly guy in real life, but his career sure does a great job of making him look like a cock.