byebye is like pie as the last thing we eat at family dinners. when those in canes decide it’s time and their loyal sons rise to the chance “yeah, i’ll drive you guys, mom” byebye i say at the front door. i wish dad would leave the door open longer. i wish i could go out for a walk in the pitch black darkness that is illuminated only by welcoming houses and streetlights.
i wish i could sit in a field of grass from a park, where in the distance i would hear dogs running and barking at the children and their owners. i wish i could lay back and watch the stars while resting on your thighs and say goodbye to my grandpa once more. i wish we could stay in the car and i wouldn’t have to say goodbye because time would freeze minutes before curfew. and we would sit together and feel the breeze and the cold pavement.
i wish she wouldn’t find goodbyes so difficult even as a toddler, she wouldn’t feel the need to pretend that if she didn’t say bye i wouldn’t have to go. i wish goodbyes weren’t masked with anger. and they could just be. i could lean on the car and think about how i won’t see you for a month but you still have to leave and i still have to cross the street into the rigid house as you drive back home. i lean on the window and wish you’d kiss me harder because then it would be a forceful memory not a bittersweet one. i would be able to say more than a hushed, cracked and weak bye and it would be okay because i had voiced that chant in my head. i love you. say it. i’ll miss you. say it. i love you.
sometimes bye is liberating like the goodbye after a phone call that’s for business or after you get home and you’ve been out all day so tired. or when you don’t feel like being around others. or like when you’re surrounded by new people and you can finally let go of those you were close to because these new ones are here and they matter more so this gets you lifted into the sky and happy because bye is bye is bye.
and bye is sometimes like hi when you’re away from everyone and stuck with family. you love them but you love nature too and so you go to a field and lay down in the blanket of goodbyes from the airport and you fall asleep once you’ve said goodbye to whoever can’t hear you as they text you from across the country. that blanket is your savior because you’ve already said bye to him and you’ve already taken the time to say bye to the little one even for a couple hours and it comes from the airport when you had to say bye to your roommate of a month and so you cried because she cried. you wonder if the second goodbye will be harder.
for him it was and for me it wasn’t for me the third time was worse in the dark leaning against that damn car, not in my pjs at the door of the apartment building.
i’ve relived the train station bye tons of times the only difference is how old she looks. some byes are permanent and some byes are weekly and some are daily, some are harder and sometimes everything is hard but at least you were together and there’s meaning to that bye because you had fun and you can now remember with bittersweetness. and you can still wish all the things that happened before they said goodbye were different but they’re still beautiful and they’re still you, together and apart.
some goodbyes come from change, like the season as they shift and as time goes and children grow. like when she goes to bed and mom says goodnight to everything. the moon the stars the children the toys.
witching hour is supposed to force goodbye but i like to push it until hours later, until my eyes are aching and we are together in my dreams and on the phone and i can’t tell which is which but it doesn’t matter.