Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday, 4 February, 2007. Sunday Scribblings: Goodbyes

#45 - Goodbyes

Who have you had to say goodbye to? What kinds of goodbyes?

Goodbye: THE END
Not au revoir, not adieu, see ya, or take care. Goodbye has the stamp of finality in it. There are sad goodbyes, bittersweet goodbyes, and damned glad to be done with ya goodbyes.

Years ago I made a friend, a fellow who'd been hanging around the fringes of my crowd. He was friends with a lot of people, mostly people my parents age, but some of my acquaintances had started spending time with him.

Right off I just didn't like him. Usually I ignored him. Oh, he was cool and all, and I spent some time with him a couple of times but decided that he wasn't anybody I wanted to hang with.

After high school graduation, I joined the Navy. My best friend and I joined at the same time, but we were assigned to different training platoons. One day shortly after we arrived at boot camp, who shows up but ol' buddy boy.... Mr. everybody's friend. He was making friends faster than a rabbit making bunnies. Sure enough, after a few days, I began taking a likening to him myself. He actually seemed like an OK guy, and gee, everybody else was chummy with him. To tell the truth, I just didn't want to be left out.

When my best friend, who had joined with me, found out that I was taking up with ol' Chumly, he gave me a dressing down the likes of which you'd not o' believed. I told him, "hey, it's only while were here in boot camp. After we're done I'll give him the boot. I'm just doin' it to fit in with the guys."

I was just foolin' myself, 'cause the more time I spent with him the more attached I became to him. He was always makin' me feel good. Whenever we were together I felt really cool man, you know, like a real man's man. When ever I'd get anxious or depressed, he'd be there to pick me up. You couldn't of asked for a better friend. Even after he became famous, he never abandoned me.

Over the years, I slowly came to realize what a charlatan he was. Witnessing the way he was treating other folks, even mutual friends, made me see him for the con-man he really was. He pretended to be your friend, while slowly, insidiously taking your money (oh, we gave it willingly enough), and actually sucking the life outta you! Even realizing this I was, seemingly, powerless to walk away____ he had his hooks into me so deep that he owned me...Body and Soul!

Ten years ago, after thirty-two years, I finally got up the gumption to kick Joe to the curb. "you're gone," I told him, "I'm done with you." No long goodbyes, no, let's have a trial separation, none of that; what can I do to make things better?

Nope, enough was enough

Tout fini

Goodbye Joe

Goodbye Joe Camel!
I've never looked back. Good riddance to bad rubbish as my Aunt Nellie used to say.

Goodbye: THE END

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Blogger Shaz said...

Me too but its only been a month and I only smoked for 5 years, so I am pretty happy right now, nice to meet you by the way my first stop over from BB. Hi :)

9:21 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Well done! I liked the way you told this too!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

That was great. Good for you. My mom died of a stroke at 43 that she probably wouldn't have had if she didn't smoke. I'm glad I never started.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Good for you, Rel. I smoked rather heavily (those pesky Gauloises and Gitanes too!) from about the age of 16 to 24. Quit cold turkey, and did not smoke for years. Until I hit a very unhappy phase of my life and started again, but I was a "closet" smoker then, because my husband (a smoker!) got really angry when he found out that I had started smoking again. I never smoked nearly as much as I had smoked as a teen and young adult - mostly because I was hiding my vice for nearly everyone who knew me. I have not had a cigarette in quite a while now, and I do not miss it one bit - ever.

3:02 PM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

Very clever!

And I'm so glad to hear you got rid of that particular pal!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Waspgoddess said...

You totally had me, I had no idea where it was going. Brilliant story, and what a happy ending :)

3:44 PM  
Blogger cherry girl said...

I love the way you wrote that! I gave up smoking in September last year and am doing well with it - no cheating or anthing! Sooo glad that I have.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

Wow! I didn't expect that ending from the beginning!Clever take on Sunday Scribblings! I am glad you kicked Joe camel!!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Rethabile said...

Good riddance...

5:01 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Great writing, Rel, with an unexpected twist. Well done, but even more well done for kicking Joe Camel to the curb!

5:07 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

This was a great piece. It sucked me in, and then the ending surprised me. Its been awhile since I've found a surprised at the end of a post.

As for Joe, I know Joe. He's changed his name to Parli: Http://

7:32 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

It's a difficult farewell that one...I've bade him goodbye often and then he pops up again when things get a little stressful or I feel like having a glass of wine or two. He's out on the limb at the moment, as I said 'see ya' a couple of days ago. He's becoming too expensive to hang around with these days and his presence isn't welcomed in many places. That doesn't worry as I don't go out to many places and I've always insisted he be on his best behaviour when we're visiting the homes of others or when we're out in the public domain. No one can tell me what to do here at my own abode, so that makes it a little harder to say 'bon voyage' to him at times.

But I'm going to be strong this week and I just won't open the door if he comes a-knocking!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Well told, Rel, and I like the surprise twist to the ending.

I gave up about 10 years ago and used to just have one at Christmas, but then it got to be more than one and started creeping up. I got wise again and this time haven't had a cigarette for quite some time and I'm really glad about that.

Good story.

Take care

9:12 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Well, I guess you do know what I am going through! I was wondering what it meant when you said he owned you body and soul...I thought...hmmmm. lol.

I said goodbye to someone in August. Very painful. I thought of him as soon as I read your post that said Who have you told goodbye. Its not always easy to say goodbye, even when you know you need to. Good post!

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Good for you Rel. Loved the story and the ending was quite the surprise.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ending took me by surprise too, it was a really well written piece. I've never known Joe personally I'm glad to say so have never had to say that difficult goodbye. Rowan

1:21 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Well geez, I thought you were talking about a real guy! lol I should have known you'd have a twist at the end of your story!! hehe Proud of you, Rel, for having had the power to quit smoking. I tried smoking when I was 12 years old and didn't like it at all so I never did start. Then only reason I even tried it was to look "cool" with the rest of the girls. My dad smoked until he died at age mom quit when she was 32, after being told she wouldn't live to see her next birthday if she didn't stop. Bravo mon ami!!!

5:03 PM  
Blogger megan said...

had no idea where you were read...

10:32 PM  
Anonymous hundred and one said...

You had me going right to the very end!! I loved this post so much and I am so happy for you that you gave up. Being a smoker once myself I know what an achievement it must have been.

3:24 AM  
Anonymous GeL (emerald eyes) said...

HI- That was a terrific punch line. I had no idea until I saw "camel" that you had given up smoking. HOORAY!
Luscious writing. Glad I came by via Sunday Scribblings. It's only my second week participating. I hope you can stop by."">500 Miles

8:25 AM  
Blogger twilightspider said...

This is absolutely fantastic! I was dying to know who you were talking about as soon as you said "once he got famous" - but I wasn't expecting Joe at all!

Congratulations on kicking him to the curb - I smoked for 12 years and I've been a non-smoker for nearly 2 now. I've never felt so great about doing something that was so difficult. Keep it up!

5:29 PM  

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