Last Call

“My love for you, is twisted and ever-ending.”
“And mine for you, consistent as a flame.”
Illuminata
, Tuturro

It’s a crisp, bright Sunday at 6 a.m., late August, turn of the century, and we are at the airport, bidding adieus on your last day on the east coast. We are Sean, Jen, and Dione, a conglomerate mess of 3 days spent in the same jeans, shirts, and possibly underwear. We’re still jittery and jaw clenching from the effects of all the ecstasy, Coke, coke, and any and all pills we happen to have happened upon in the various nightclubs we’ve graced during this 3-day Bon-Voyage Binge. We haven’t slept or bathed since Thursday, and I’m quite sure it shows. We are truly, in every sense of the word, ripped.

Still under the influence of god-knows-what pills we popped before packing the Z300, the lot of us are poorly navigating the airport, with you about to get on a plane with a picnic basket full of houseplants and salvia divinorum, a hallucinogen we lovingly potted the night before. This, in a classic picnic basket complete with flip-lids and plaid liner, on a transnational flight. Carry-on. God, we must’ve been ripped. Luckily, this is a carefree Sunday sometime before September 11th with few security measures, because if it weren’t they’d probably still have us locked up in Guantanamo Bay to this day.

We’re huddled near the gate and running out of things to say. I ask again why you have to go, and you tell me I already know the answer in that weird way that makes me feel like I’m missing something obvious. So my half-baked brain is scrambling for reasons—and it’s not easy to glean your meaning on even the best of days—and all it can come up with is that both Sean (your boyfriend) and I (your girlfriend) are completely un-fucking-reliable characters with no sense of propriety, as we have on 2 separate occasions gotten so totally wrecked that we blacked out and had mind-blowing sex without you. Seems like a pretty good reason; drastic reaction moving 3,000 miles away, but understandable.

(And you know, the blacking out thing is perhaps only partially accurate and certainly only partially excusable, because if you wake up fucking someone and don’t stop upon your reentry to consciousness, then you’re pretty much playing an accomplice to yourself.) But that’s neither here nor there right now, and I figure it doesn’t matter if I discern your mystical assertion at this point, because you’ve got your plane ticket, the plants, and a plan—-what else is there to stay for? What else is there to say?

In truth, there is so very much to say, but at the time I was not in my right mind, and I ask you to forgive me for that, Jennifer. Weeks before, I should have said, “No—you can’t go! If you go, I’m going with you! I love you!” but I figured by the last week you would change your mind and stay. Even 3 days before, I still thought you might back out, and we thus partied for 3 days straight, each day thinking in the back of my head you might still change your mind. But here we are, at PHL Int’l, about to watch you leave for Seattle. Ever the resolute one, weren’t you?

They’re boarding now, and we’re getting a little delirious with the reality before us: you’re about to be gone forever. We squeeze one another’s hands; our palms are sweaty. You put your finger on that crook at the bridge of my nose and remind me that I am to come out in 3 months’ time. I don’t speak for fear of bleating like a lovelorn calf. We kiss softly, briefly, and you walk into the tunnel. You do not look back.

It’s been nearly 10 years now, and I still think of you as my golden girl. I will perhaps never fall in love with another woman, but at the very least I am proud to say that I once was. I failed and kissed her, more than once for each, and I saw her off with a fantastic farewell party, but never once did I do what she needed: show her my love fully, unfalteringly, and without restraint.

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