We all have them, friends we adore and enjoy so much we can’t imagine not having them regularly a part of our lives. Often, though, those friends disappear until you come across an old photo to remind you that you once adored them and enjoyed their company.
I would have guessed most of us in this photo were fated to be friends for life.
Cathy. Deborah’s sister, I met only in Paris during this visit and had no more contact with her.
Deborah I saw a time or two later in France and Kaiserslautern, then briefly in 2001 when she visited Nebraska to see Ralph and his father. She was moving from the West Coast with her three cats in tow. I met her cats and we discussed their personalities for a few minutes while Ralph and his father waited in the car. (Ralph is allergic and has the misfortune to chose friends who harbor cats in their hearts and homes…!)
Tim disappeared from the radar, but turned up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He called me once. We talked for a long time, made vague promises to keep in touch, then didn’t. Well, I guess I did contact him by phone one more time several years later when, on a whim, I typed his name in google and found out he’d become a successful architectural photographer. Check out his link. Tim’s very talented.
Tim is in these photos, two from a series where he runs into a tunnel under a railroad bed, then gradually disappears by the last frame. Curiously, this foretold the fate of our friendship.
“Goodbye”, from “God be with you”. Au revoir and auf wiedersehen (literally “on seeing [you] again”). Some combination or all of those phrases passed among us till the locomotive pulled the train out of the station in Paris on its way to points east, including Tim and my “home base” at the time, Kaiserslautern, Germany.
We were young and full of ourselves. We loved our lives and lived them fully. When we assured each other we’d get together again some day, we drank the Kool-Aid of self-delusion: No, really! We would get together again! “See ya!”
The older I get, the more I understand long goodbyes.