I can remember it plainly when I think about it. Despite all of the day drinking we did. Richmond airport will never be the same for me. The beers, the vomit, the laughs. I don’t want to remember it any other way, and I so desperately wish I could go back to those short two weeks. It hurts to know they are only memories and I will likely never be so close to those dear sweet friends again.
My work had sent three coworkers and me to the Richmond area for some training that none of us particularly cared about. We were just glad to be traveling on the company’s dime. I flew on the same plane as another woman close to my age from the same office building and landed just before lunch as we waited for the other two. I remember what she said as we landed, “you can judge me if you want, but I’m going to have a beer instead of lunch.” That’s how it all started.
Before I knew it the other guy had landed, we were wasted in the airport bar as person after person bought our loud and happy group beers. The woman was taken to the bathroom to throw up as the other guy, and I kept happily throwing back beers. I was so drunk at that point I hadn’t even noticed she had left. We had to wait for the last woman to get there to drive us all to the hotel. Needless to say, the next day in class was very rough. This didn’t discourage us from drinking for nearly the next two weeks straight.
One of the happiest moments of my life was during one of the last night there. We had stocked up on beer one night and stayed in the hotel drinking. That night we all took turns being a DJ on youtube. I had brought my laptop and a cord to connect the t.v. in the room. After more than a few hours of drinking the other guy put on this channel called Mahogany Sessions. From that moment on I was hit straight in the feels. I tell him that to this day. Sitting there ina truly shitty hotel, half drunk, my arms around this man and woman who I count among my closest friends and I felt all but a few emotions that night.
The next day they all went out for tattoos. I didn’t join them as I have a great fear of commitment and permanence. They could all see something was off with me and took turns asking me if I was okay. I did my best to tell them I was but they didn’t quite believe me. I didn’t believe myself. To tell the whole truth I was more than a little sad. I knew the next day we would all have to fly home. I knew they would go home to their families and girlfriends and I would go back to a small bedroom and would see them only at the occasional monthly meetings. I knew we would never have those beautiful and close moments again. I could think of nothing more heartbreaking as we never will again.
I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God’s gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payment.
– Frances Farmer