We were walking down a neighborhood street around seven forty five and Berkeley never looked so pretty. The Ashby neighborhood my friends had moved to is quiet and has that mid century East Bay charm about it. We were talking about I'm not sure what anymore, but it was one of those conversations you and your friends have and that's always good, the ones that stick around and that you think you can write a TV show about.
I came to help move my friends in, but I wasn't sure I was supposed to be there. These were my best friends but an hour earlier I had messaged them and was sitting in a taqueria on 24th street asking them for their new address. They never responded, so I had to call them to find out. This was becoming a regular occurrence, despite attempting to change my pace of life, the weekends were becoming a pattern, watch a movie Friday night, desperately try and figure out something to do Saturday (which was what I was attempting to do while waiting for my order), fail, and laze around Sunday. So I was trying to reconnect with people I hadn't really been with for the lasts three years that night. I left the friends I had made through out college, and had to return to what had become an alien environment for me. In my absence my friends had grown without me, and I without them, but having been severed from my former life abroad I was determined to rebuild the friendships I had missed out on. It was not going well. I was more or less an outsider for them, and they were busy carrying on their lives like they had been without any interlopers from their pre-university days. I realized this soon after moving back and beginning work in the bay area, and avoided hanging out with them during the initial months of figuring out some sort of employment. But I had since figured out a steady enough life to want to see them once again, if they'd have me. I think I ended up being an oddity in their lives, showing up every once in a while to go out on a night out, like a space time rip had occurred and an alternate universe where I had stayed occurred for the day, and we all had a great night out, but then the universe would course correct and I was once again removed from that world. I had to come to the slow realization that I had to maybe let these friends go, see them as if they had visiting hours.
I wasn't sure that I was needed for the day, nor was my presence wanted, but I had decided that I should go because I wasn't sure when the next time I'd see them would be. They were thirty minutes away from where I was living in San Francisco, and yet it was unlikely we'd ever hang out. I had my work and world and they had theirs and it started to wear on me. So I wanted to go see them and their new apartment. I met them at the grocery store near Ashby station, and we immediately hit it off again. The space time rip had occurred, but this time, like the last few times I had hung out with them, I couldn't bring myself to enjoy it. So after buying the beginner's kit of cooking necessities, mostly condiments, we started to walk to their new apartment. I was excited to see it.
"You know you can't have cows in Hawaii?"
"What do you mean.. ?"
"There are no cows in Hawaii."
The night carried on, and by eleven a.m. the next day I was alone again, the universe having remembered I did not belong in that world, and that I had one to lead on my own.