My Lucky Penny

8 Feb

There are people that walk into your life and become more to you than you ever imagined they would. I’ve already written a little about Mr. Wrong, TOGA, and HB, but this isn’t about that kind of love. The last few days I have ruminated on the limitless amount of shapes love can take. The romantic kind generally gets a spotlight. In my life, in the stories I hear from others, in the media, we just seem to hyper focus on who we are with or finding the person we should be with. I would beg to argue that we cannot put that much pressure on one kind of affection to fulfill us. We HAVE to have to fuel ourselves as a whole being and romantic love is simply not strong enough for that task.

Over the weekend I helped a dear friend of mine pack to move across country. She and I have spent a lot of time together as of late and she took a piece of my heart with her when she left in the wee hours this morning. Driving home last night, late, and exhausted, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling until I had cried them all out. Reflecting on the road that had lead me to that exact moment, I was amazed at the unexpectedness of it all.

I had met Lucky Penny at a Halloween party in 2009. She was TOGA’s new roommate and part of me was jealous of this girl living with my best friend because he couldn’t stop talking about how great she was. They had clicked right away, I can’t say the same for LP and myself. Those were the days of the infamous Red Room and mid-beginning of the crazy years we now sometimes look back on with disdain, but yet still aren’t entirely over. She was like a firework – loud, bright, colorful, but could explode in your face if not handled correctly. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way that first weekend we met, and I don’t think I entirely got over it until she moved out. Maybe it was all those latent romantic feelings for TOGA I was harboring, maybe it was the general negative attitude my college confidant, Mrs. F, had for her, maybe it was her ability to control a room that I envied, whatever it was, it made us becoming a friends a slow process.

After LP moved out of TOGA’s she was still around often. She’d come over and invite us out on adventures, we’d meet her at the bar, mostly our activities centered around drinking of some sort. That first year is fuzzy. She didn’t play a starring role in most of my memories of trips to the NEK, but she was in the background, intriguing me. The first solid memory I have of an outing of just her and I was exactly a year after our first encounter. I had gone up to TOGA’s for Halloween and we had had a mini-party the night before (the same party that destroyed any remaining hope I had of TOGA and I ending with a happily ever after). LP wanted to go to another house party and dropped by to get us to go. TOGA of course was not entertained by the idea, but I certainly was. We found some hats to wear, took some pictures, and ventured out into the night. The party was lame and if not for it being a meaningful step in our friendship, it may have faded into the recesses of my memory.

LP and I began hanging out more and more. slowly at first, and then she became a part of my Vermont trips I looked forward to. She moved often and towards the end of her senior year of college was within walking distance of TOGA’s house. One of my favorite memories is drinking with TOGA and realizing I was out of alcohol. I was teasing the idea of going to Cumbies to get a six pack of Smirnoff which I probably wouldn’t have done if not for TOGA betting me that I couldn’t get crazy Mary to sell it to me. I determinedly put on my winter boots and jacket to make the quest to Cumbies. After successfully completing my task, I wandered to LP’s to tell my tale and share a victory drink. We had a dance party and I disappeared there for a while, leaving TOGA to wonder what had become of me.

I loved those few months she lived in that apartment because she was never more than a walk away and always up for adventure. Like midwinter snowman invasions, wandering the streets with a beer in hand, determined to build a snowman on the library steps with snow that just wouldn’t stick. Or random no-pants dance parties. Why I hadn’t seen how much we had in common before is still a mystery, but one I’m glad I got solved.

The summer after she graduated college she moved on what felt like a weekly basis. She finally semi-settled near Concord, NH near the fall and I went to go see her more than I saw her the previous year and a half combined. We quickly discovered a shared passion for football and watched more than half of the Patriots games together this past season. Then, after the falling out with my roommate, she became such a huge part of my life, I couldn’t imagine living without her.

That’s the thing about letting someone mean too much to you though, eventually there is a good chance something will happen. In this case, LP got fired, got sick of New England, and drove across country to Arizona to start over. I can’t express how hard it was to not be selfish and convince her to stay despite knowing she needed to leave. Love will make you do selfish things, but real love, forces you to set aside your own needs and lift up the needs of the ones you care about, no matter how much it hurts.

Saying good-bye never gets easier. There are always so many things you want to say, always knowing that whatever you say will never be enough. You have to say it everyday, because if you don’t, those last words are meaningless anyway.

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