Au revoir, mon Cherie

August 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm (Sweet sticky things)

I’ve been dreading this week. For the last year I’ve known it was coming, so it’s not like I haven’t had time to prepare. That doesn’t make it any easier.

The time has come for my buddy Mizelle to move to France. She’s selling her stuff and packing the rest to haul to California. She bought a Chevy van to live in while she’s stateside. (I’m loving the fact that my favorite women are buying exactly the kind of van their daddies warned them to stay out of. Clairissa’s looks like the Mystery Machine. Haven’t seen Mizelle’s yet.)

I met Mizelle in 1997, when she was a fresh-faced young’un arriving from Salt Lake City with a posse of girlfriends. One by one the girlfriends moved away, but Mizelle liked it here. We became fast if not unlikely friends. In late 1999 she married a young man and disappeared for several years, leaving me crushed. Crush being the operative word. I don’t think I’ve ever been so smitten. Being a realist, I accepted things. It still felt like I’d lost a body part.

When fate reunited us in 2003, we quickly made up for lost time. Suddenly we were talking on the phone every day, hitting every buffet in town, spending full days hopping movie theaters. While not a physical relationship, it was intimate. We shared secrets we’d tell no others. It was like being each other’s psychiatrist. We explored, experimented. We’d make trips to the Goodwill dump, not to get rid of things but to scavenge. (She hated buying clothes that cost more than $1.29 a pound.) With her as arm candy, I looked like the luckiest guy in the world.

Eventually she met a young man who captured her fancy, the Frenchman. I resented the hell out of him at first, until I met him. Instead of being jealous, I was happy for her. I’d seen the boyfriends come and go, but could tell this was different. There are communication difficulties: He speaks minimum English, and I’m going to have to Google the title of this to make sure I’m not saying something offensive. (Without the visual help, talking on the phone with him is nearly impossible. ) We do have one thing in common. We both worship his lovely wife, and we’re both okay with it.

It sounds like a girl’s dream. Meet her dream man in Australia, he follows her around the world, they marry and make a beautiful baby, then they move to the French countryside to make wine and raise their little girl. (Who, by the way, has more passport stamps already than I’ll ever see in a lifetime.) I can’t think of a girl more deserving of a storybook ending.

This isn’t goodbye. She will have flight benefits for the next couple of years, and I’m guessing, hoping, that she’ll coast-hop up from mom’s to see me once in a while. It’ll be a day of buffets, movies and long drives. We’re good at those things.

We are supposed to meet up this week, before she heads down the coast to Cali. I haven’t cried yet, but I feel a storm brewing. I haven’t cried over her in a long, long time, so I guess I’m due. I’ll try to keep it together until they’re driving away. I promise I’ll try.

Mizelle, I love you. I have since I met you. There’s a big ol’ soft spot in my heart and head for you. You’ve been a cherished friend, a constant in my life, and you will be missed, terribly missed. But the time has come for me to share you with the rest of the world. (It’s more like I’m sending you off to terrorize France, and show them a thing or two about fashion, but I digress.) I’ll be here when you come back. You know, in case you need to borrow a sleeping bag and a burned-out car to sleep in for a night.

Travel safe, and write when you get there.

Always,

C

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