“Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.” -Trey Parker. I’m not sure who Trey Parker is, but I can tell you I personally disagree with this statement. It may seem odd to start a post with something that sounds so profound and nice, and then say I disagree with it. But here’s why. Last night, at about 11:25, I find a seat in the movie theater and wait about 40 minutes for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies to start. I got to see (or hear) a lot of people interacting with others in different ways, that for the life of me I just don’t quite understand, but it fascinates me. Here’s what I mean.
This theater was PACKED. I found a seat in the front, and I’m pretty sure every other seat when filled in the theater, maybe a few in the front row unfilled. I saw people playing Cards Against Humanity. In the theater. Yup, that’s right, in the theater, people were playing Cards Against Humanity. I listened to a lot of people talking about a lot of different things. Two girls asked to sit next to me (not in THAT way), and just from sitting next to them and having nothing to do, I heard a little of what they were saying. They talked about one of their marriages and how it was nice to see them come together after having problems. They worked through them. Or people talked about church, or they talked about not seeing each other again. People arrived and found their seats next to their friends. If I didn’t know any better, I would say they hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I saw two girls dressed like elves. I saw all manner of people. There were nerds (even though if we’re all watching The Hobbit at midnight, we all somewhat qualify), frat boys, fat people, skinny people, muscular people, females, you name it, except for older people. Most people in there were probably 18-30. I watched them talk about not seeing each other. I watched people hug like they were best friends and, again, hadn’t seen each other in forever. People asked to sit places. People greeted total strangers and talked to them. Before the movie started, a guy yelled, “I’m gonna enjoy this movie!” It wasn’t just a yell, it sounded like every word and syllable was the same way, kind of a cracky voice. At the end of the movie, I just got SO sad, and only partly because the movie was over. It was time to say goodbye, in more ways than one.
Of course, the movie was over. It was probably the last movie that would be made in Middle-Earth. The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit adventure is over now. I get annoyed because the world is so vibrant and feels so real. Bilbo has been on his adventure for 30 months (or maybe it was 13, now that I think about it), and he finally gets back to the Shire. Thorin, Kili, and Fili are all dead. He has his treasure, and he has to say goodbye to the dwarves. Meanwhile, back in the Shire, his property is being sold, and nobody has any inkling of an idea about what happened. Smaug is dead, a major battle was fought, Sauron is back, and all this major stuff. But the hobbits don’t care. They are pleasantly at home enjoying a simple life. That’s why I could never be a hobbit. I think I’m way too restless to enjoy that kind of life. I want to know about the world and interact with it and be a part of it. I wouldn’t mind having the “Shire life” every once in a while, but I feel like I have to go around and see new people and take on the world. It’s one reason every time the story ends, and they settle back down in the Shire, I get sad. People died, evil was vanquished, people grew, and nobody cares. It’s like nothing happened. That bothers me immensely. I know there is more to be told about Middle-Earth. The story isn’t over, and there are still characters I feel for. I don’t want it to be over.
Another level was the people in the movie theater. I talked about this in my post “Shadows” and led into this with my first paragraphs, but I didn’t want to say goodbye to all the people in the theater. We all came together for the movie. We’re all fans of the Hobbit series. We all had a basic, common bond that I felt went pretty deep. We all went to the midnight premiere, which shows some degree of passion and dedication. We all united for a common purpose. Now I know, it’s just a movie, but I thought it went even further. Like I was talking about people hugging, and greeting new people, and sitting next to strangers, it all seemed very polite and friendly. Everyone seemed to like each other there on a basic level. There were friends there that went to see it together, and I was there alone. I barely had the nerve to talk to any of my neighbors at all. At the same time, I felt both completely alone, but also like a part of a larger body where I belonged. I was a spectator of everyone else. It was it’s own little movie. You aren’t really there, but you feel as though you are. Or vice versa, and I was feeling them both at the same time. It sounds kind of confusing, but maybe you can understand what I’m saying. It was really nice feeling like a part of the greater Hobbit community. I was almost equal there, aside from me being probably the only one in high school in that theater. Anyway, when it came time to leave, it was like none of it ever existed. We’d all go back to our houses, or dorms, or apartments or wherever it was we lived. My “friends” never truly cared. I got little glimpses into their lives and who they were, and I was faced with the prospect of most likely never seeing them again. I didn’t really lose anything, but I was upset over the prospect of what could’ve been. Stupid mind for caring too much.
My last layer (I think), was grounded in my never seeing them again. I realized that I am moving to Utah in about 6-7 months, and much less the people in the theater; I wouldn’t see anyone in Fort Collins for a long time. I’ll be ~480 miles away, and that means that I won’t see strangers any time soon, my friends, my family, my church family, any of them. I got to thinking about how much I enjoy Fort Collins and how blessed I am to be here and have been raised here. Maybe I’m a little spoiled now, because now that I’ve lived in such a nice place, I’m hoping that Ogden treats me the same. I think it will from my two and a half days there, but I’m gonna live there for four years at least. It’s kind of a daunting prospect leaving the nest, however large the nest is. My house, my school, my friends, my city, my state. All nests I’m leaving in one go around, and that’s scary. I’m sure I’ll be alright and have a great time, but still, the idea is kind of intimidating.
This is obviously about goodbyes. I’m terrible at them. I never want to say goodbye, and I think when I do, it comes out all awkward and not really pleasant. I wish I could just be with everyone and never leave everyone. Know everyone and who they are and what they were about. What makes that more uncomfortable is that I’m rather introverted, so good luck with that, me. I wish I had it in me to just be friendly and speak to everyone. I wish it was possible for humans to all wish to be friends, and actually make it happen. I wish it were in our capacity to maintain everything. But it’s not. It makes me uncomfortable. I hate endings, because that means there’s no more of it. I wish life were like a movie theater, where everyone could find something in common and enjoy it together, be friendly. Just without the leaving part. To address the quote, I wish goodbyes didn’t matter. That’s why I put it there. Because that’s what I want, not what I believe. Goodbyes are important; they do mean something. It is true that the time spent doing it is important, but how it ends is every bit as important. When something ends, or you have to say goodbye, you’re accepting that there will be no more. And I’m not okay with that. I want to milk the cow for every ounce it has, and then come back next time and find more waiting. Or rather, I would like a bunch of cows, so that when one is dry, I can move on to another one. When that one’s done, the other one has more milk. I’ll end the post there, with a profoundly deep cow metaphor. Not goodbye!