It’s the first real rain of the season, and I’ve woken up to refreshingly cool air coming through my window. It’s finally becoming winter after an absurdly warm fall, and I happily grab my new coat for its first use, pop my breakfast in the microwave to eat on the way, and head out the door to join the other cars picking their way slowly through the slick streets.
Something in the rhythm of the rain and windshield wipers triggers a vague memory in me, and I’m overcome with bittersweet nostalgia. This is my first fall away from The Abbey, and I suddenly miss it more than I have in the last year.
I’ve spent so much time debriefing with Josh about our failures and hardships and writing posts about our sad stories, that I’ve almost forgotten the warmth that I felt there.
Lots of snippets of memories flash past:
Snuggling up on Josh and Summer’s couch with their kids, watching movies and putting off leaving their warm, bright house, even just to cross the street to my own room
Hanging out in our common room while everyone else is away, Owl City drifting from the speakers as I clean or craft or cook, calm and in my own little world
Raking up leaves with another member on a lazy Sunday, chatting as we worked in the beautifully toned piles
Enjoying our group meals under warm lights, laughter and talking drowning out the wind outside as we dished up hot, tasty food and caught up with each other from the events of the week.
The smiling faces of Josh and Summer’s kids while they learned how to ride bikes in the deserted church parking lot, helped me bake, made candles, or sat with me sipping hot chocolate while reading a book
Lazing around in my pjs all Friday until I finally got dressed and wandered down to the free lunch to be greeted by hustle and bustle, and (mostly) smiles
As soon as I let it in, the fond memories come flooding through and I’m reminded of my other friends back home. I remember my Dungeons and Dragons group, gathering around the table to create a story together, often make foolish choices, and wisecrack through it all before venturing through the slippery wet leaves laden driveway back to our cars.
There was the old Doctor Who marathons we put on every couple of months, with lots of Tennant-esque “What? What?! WHAT?!” outbursts as we tried to comprehend the wibbly-wobbliness of time travel while we lay around on partially-broken Ikea couches.
If I ventured back down to the college town I hung out with my school friends, wandering through a grocery store to pick up some beer and something to cook for dinner (complete with bickering and negotiations over what we should eat), before heading back to an apartment to talk, play games, and cook together.
The red brake lights ahead of me bring me back to the present as traffic slows to a grinding halt, and I feel more sad than nostalgic now. I wonder if I’ll find those same feelings again? I’ve been in this city for almost a year now, with no friends that I hang out with outside of work or family.
My D&D groups keep falling through; I tried out a couple Unitarian churches but was so out of practice for getting up Sunday mornings that even the mild commute was enough to overcome my good intentions; I joined several Meetup groups but find that I’m usually working during their events.
I want that friendship again. I don’t miss my little hometown, but I really miss these people. My people.
Note: Blatantly stole some of these pictures from Summer’s Facebook since almost all of my photos from more than a year ago were lost with a hard drive crash.