Despite the beautiful flowers, sun-filled windows, and cheating-day chocolate chip cookies, this has actually been a pretty sad week.
Our best friends left Moscow. Even when I type that sentence, it doesn't feel real. It's not even a real thought to anyone that is not Ben or I because they weren't your best friends and it can be hard to feel for other people's losses over the internet. But we felt it quite hard. Our best friends left Moscow.
It's strange how empty our lives are without their weekly conversations, without our texts and phone calls planning mid-week dinner parties, card playing nights, cigarette smoke dominated porch hangs--all of it. It's just gone now. Just me and Ben once again in a city that doesn't speak. A city we feel like most of the time we have overstayed our welcome in.
We met one of them in college, but though he lived only a literal fifty feet away, we never really seemed to cross paths. He met a girl on a semester abroad and they came here and met again, moving into the center at the same time Ben and I did. We went out for Mexican food one night and came back with ten thousand weekend plans. Sometimes it felt like we started hanging out one night and never stopped.
For a long time, Ben and I were really lonely here. We moved to Moscow in the dead of winter almost two years ago and worked at a small school with only one other teacher who would drink a beer and turn angry. We hardly made any money at all and going out on the weekends absolutely drained us. It was a hard time. Though Ben and I are totally best friends and complete partners, a lot of times we feel as though were one person. Of course Ben fills me with more happiness than any person in the world, but we all need more people in our lives. That is something all couples must realize at some point.
Our two friends were a real gift in that way. They lifted up our weekends and filled us with an excitement and energy we had been really missing. They shared their Moscow and we shared ours. Together, we all made a bit of a home for ourselves. They moved nearby and it felt like we had a bit of a family here.
But no matter how fabulous a weekend may be, life must move on. Our friend W. from college accepted a place at American University and no matter how much my "subtle" hints about how lame international relations graduates are (they're not, okay? I just wanted him to stay!), he booked his ticket and went to Washington, D.C,. She left too.
We had what felt like a million good-bye parties. We went out every night for those last two weeks. We watched the sun come up over the chic apartments in our neighborhood night after night. We took B-52 shots and smoked cigarettes until our lungs hurt. And we kept doing it as though it wasn't the last month, the last week, the last weekend, and then finally... the last night.
When they left, both Ben and I cried little rivers down our cheeks. Ben swung his arm around my shoulders as we left the place we'd had our last lunch and told me they were great friends to have and at it was a great thing that we'd had them. I hid under my sunglasses and wished everything could just stay the same forever.
Before she left, F. came over with a bouquet of flowers she'd gotten at work but couldn't keep because she was leaving. Ben and I carefully cut the stems, warmed and sugared water, and brought flowers into all three rooms of our three room apartment. It has somehow made things a bit better. Flowers just have that way on people.
I'm sorry if this is all kind of dramatic or sad, but it's been awhile since I just flowed through this blog. When I was at college I remember professor after professor giving the same advice to me and to my peers. "Bleed it out--let it flow through you."
Which is actually quite a frustrating thing to tell anyone who is in the creative field. Sometimes I'd sit on my squeaky little dorm bed and slam my fingers into the keys and use nasty words and tell deeply personal stories just to like, hit some vein or something. But the times that people really cared about my words and the times that my professor would smile and tell me he could really "hear" me was when I was just telling my diary something. Just because I really did need to tell someone about something. So I guess that's what I'm doing here.
Ben and I are 99% sure we are going to move to Japan (still possibly Taiwan though) come the early spring. We have some great plans in-between, but to save everyone who reads this and our poor parents, I will wait to finalize them before I talk about them. There are still good things, but we will sure miss our favorite friends.