Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saying goodbye to old friends

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Top: 1996 Baron-Fuenté Grand Millésimé Brut Champagne
Middle: 1993 Château Lafite Rothschild | AC Pauillac
Bottom: 2005 Domaine Du Petit Métris 'Les Tetuères' | AC Chaume 

He was kindhearted, in a way. You know the sort of kind heart: it made him uncomfortable more often than it made him do anything; and even when he did anything, it did not prevent him from grumbling, losing his temper and swearing (mostly to himself).

― J.R.R. Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle

I think of myself as a sincere, kind, and well-intentioned person. And lately, I've been failing at it. Not by design, mind you - it's just that nothing I do seems to be right. I desperately want to do the right thing, the honourable thing, the things that will let me sleep soundly at night. Why do I do this to myself? Self-loathing? Shades of masochism? Self-destructive tendencies?

It's my last week at home before I make the big move. The big move. So I'm allowed to be a little emo, to sob a bit. This is probably (like yesterday) a terrible idea, but they do say that it's therapeutic to get things down in writing, so here we go. I try not to have any regrets, but I'm struggling with (at least) one major regret. My friends have been great and supportive, but when the table is cleared, the dishes are washed and put away, and everyone has gone home, I get what they call the post-performance blues. It sucks. I love my friends, and they're the most important people in my life, but we still need a partner - someone who takes on that different role that friendships can't fill. When you feel like you've had that with someone, and it's suddenly no more, that's the worst. Because you've had a taste of how amazing things are when you're with someone who gets you, who you want to be with even if you're not doing anything, who just feels comfortable to be around.

Utterly, utterly alone. Maybe I'm being a child, maybe (as my buddy says) I need to do everyone a favour and stop with the emails/messages/texts. But how do you control your feelings? I don't know how. Time? Booze? Other distractions? My mind fell into the rabbit-hole and for the life of me, I have no idea which way is up.

We had dinner recently with old friends. Sort of my last chance to cook and drink with everyone at home. We drank some interesting things. Started with a Champagne that was just starting to mature - the 1996's are certainly a powerhouse. Moving onto a bottle that these friends gave me a few years ago ... it was only proper that we waited for the Lafite to turn 20, and drink together. No decant, a masterclass in how these estates still produce wine of great elegance and charm in difficult vintages. And ending with something sweet, a Chaume that was powerful, rich, and complex.

This is becoming very difficult for me, as my time in Toronto is ending. Very difficult. I try to do the right thing, but I never seem to be able to vocalize what I really want to say, never seem to be able to express what I'm really feeling - in the moment. And so I go home and sit and stew over it, beating myself up. Physical trauma, I can deal with. But the heart? I don't know how to handle this anymore. I just don't.

DF

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