My Old Friend Moved Back to Our Hometown and I’m Much Sadder than I Thought

It’s not like he’s going to slap on a cardigan and wait for death

Patrick Metzger
Crow’s Feet

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older white man looking sad with boxes in corner of empty room
Andy Dean Photography on Shutterstock.com

Yesterday one of my oldest friends announced on Facebook that he was leaving Toronto for our mutual hometown of London, Ontario (not to be confused with London, England, aka “the good one.”) He posted a farewell selfie of himself on his balcony with Toronto’s most famous erection, the CN Tower, rising in the background.

For some reason, the news made me profoundly melancholy, even more so than more immediate and terrifying evidence of time’s relentless advance, like funerals, or mirrors.

I couldn’t figure out why.

It’s not like he’s going home to slap on a cardigan and wait for death, at least so far as I know. He’d just had a chance to retire a couple of years early, and decided to move to a smaller, quieter, place where he had family and longstanding friendships.

It wasn’t like I was really going to miss him either. Although we’d once been close and still enjoyed each other’s company, we hadn’t seen each other since before COVID when we met up to squint at a pub menu and complain about the price of fish and chips.

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Patrick Metzger
Crow’s Feet

Dilettante, smartass, apocalypticist. ***See “Lists” for stories by genre.***