I found this old post that I wrote but never posted. It still rings true.
Who is good with them? Movies. I've decided it's much easier to be poignant and touching and everything you wish you were when you have a script and a director who tells you to do it again if it's not right.
On Friday, after the Conference, Fujita-san came up to me while I was working on the computer.
Fujita-san: I'm going to Australia tomorrow so I won't see you again.
Me: ?? (I was still in denial)
Fujita-san: Anyway, I just wanted to give you a little gift.
Me: What? A gift? <Thinking, 'I should be the one giving YOU a gift'> Can I open it?
Fujita-san: Yes, please.
I open it - it's a calligraphy pen.
Fujita-san: So that you can practice writing characters.
Me: This is so great! Thank you! <At this point, I really just wanted to jump up and throw my arms around him to thank him for being such a great person and friend but since that would only end awkwardly, in the middle of the conference no less, I stayed seated and pinned my arms down by my side lest I give in to my impulses>
The result was:
Fujita-san: Well, good bye.
Me: Thank you so much for everything. Good bye.
Except, three seconds after he left, I wanted to chase him down and do it all over again, with a better script.
Back to our regular programming:
The other day I ran into one of my English students. He was one of those students that I felt an instant bond with. Our first meeting I ended up talking to him mostly in Chinese (and sometimes in fake Japanese/Chinese - yeah, it's as awkward as it sounds) and I just marveled once again in the joy of kindred spirits.
Each week, he never failed to bring a smile to my face, to say something that had me nodding in agreement. One time, during a role play, he announced he had no friends and I teasingly took issue with it. So he changed it: "Oh, I do have one friend - Erin."
Well, English class is over the semester and he is returning to China before it starts up again. Running into him was absolutely fortuitous, a great chance to say goodbye.
The result was similar to above:
Me: So, you're going back to China?
Me: I wish you the best of luck. Take care!
Friend: Ok, bye.
So casual, so carefree. Except that, again, I wanted to run after him and say, "Just kidding! Don't say good bye. Be my friend forever!"
Because that's really what I want.