Time to Go – February 28, 2003

It is nighttime. Dusk, actually, if you want to be accurate. I can hear cars passing by on the road outside my apartment. There are many cars; it is Friday evening, the middle of rush hour. I am home and safe and warm and tired. In another half hour, I will drive out of the garage, onto the streets and over the mountains — I really shouldn’t call them mountains, they are only hills, but I want to believe they are mountains, want to believe they tower over Los Angeles and are capped with snow and that the air is clear every day and not just after a rainstorm — to Halle and Lena’s apartment, where we will have fondue and catch up because we haven’t seen each other in a month.

I wonder when that happened — when we, all 30 of us out here in L.A., stopped hanging out together. When once or twice a week turned into once a month or every few months. When the stories we always tell became the same old stories. When big gatherings stopped. When the drifting apart began.

I miss the closeness, on the one hand; on the other, I sense that this is natural, and that friendship doesn’t always have to mean constant contact, that it can feel crazy and pressure-filled when it does. We are all more tired, entrenched in our jobs or looking for a job, worrying about money, worrying about war, running out of time — time to cook, time to write, time to clean, time to read, time to relax and have picnics on nice days, time to appreciate that we have had it good for the majority of our lives so far.

It is time to go. I am looking forward to seeing my friends again. I am looking forward to sleeping when I get home. I am not looking forward to facing the traffic.

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