I’m sitting on my bed, and my room is a mess. I’m trying to figure out what stays and what goes. Nearly everything is going, except the things that are staying—two small boxes. I won’t be coming back to this room, this house, and there is only so much I can carry with me. Books are difficult to leave and I am only taking three. I called my best friend to see what books he wanted of mine, and to see if his girlfriend wanted to look through them, she might like one. Somehow it’s easier to say goodbye when leaving stories with people you love. I don’t own the words, but when I read something and it stays with me, like Ask the Dust by Fante, it almost becomes a part of you.
So I am saying goodbye to books and friends. Some of my friends and I drank in the city the other night. We ordered drinks, and when my friend said she wanted water my other friend came back with vodka for her. And she drank it because I was leaving for Spain, and someone said don’t be a pussy.
‘Don’t be a pussy, Chris.’
And so she drank it and she wasn’t a pussy.
Then more drinks came back and most people asked me what I was drinking, and I told them whatever they were drinking.
‘I’ll have what you’re having.’
So I had a lot of different drinks, from a lot of different people, which made it easier to say goodbye.
Two days after I said goodbye to my friends, some of my family and their partners went out for dinner. We ordered eight Singha beers, which came out in glass beer mugs, and we cheers’d each other, making eye contact because no one wanted bad sex for seven years. Mum was spilling beer all over the table and one of my sisters told her.
‘Mum, you’re spilling beer everywhere.’
And then mum said she couldn’t help it because everyone was banging into her.
‘I can’t help it, everyone is banging me.’
And then we laughed for a long while, and drank beer, and ate Thai food, and when we left we didn’t leave a very big tip, but we should have.
So I am saying goodbye to books and friends and family—three things that I shouldn’t ever really say goodbye to.