When a Friend Goes Away

Food for Thought @ Taste of Northern China

I asked Chris @wandersauce when he was coming back, as he has been posting from Las Vegas. He didn’t know; it could be months, he said. When a friend goes away for a month or more, you no longer think of his absence as temporary. You stop including him in any plans, and find someone else to replace him. If he comes back, fine, you’ll cross that bridge when you get there. Apparently, I wasn’t the only friend of Chris to think this way.

Chris and I came across Aaron @arron.aron.erin and June @thank9stars earlier this year, and we were intrigued by their posts because they were a mix of cheap eats and first-class airline meals. Eventually, Chris managed to meet them because they live in his neighborhood. I saw some of the meals they had together. Next time, Chris said, he would arrange a meal with them and include me, but then he took off to Vegas.

Aaron then just bypassed the middle man and messaged me directly, to see if we could replace him with each other. Of course, we might tell our friends that they are irreplaceable to be nice, but nobody actually is.

Besides, part of the joy of Instagram is to make other people feel insecure, envious, or outright fearful. Who were NOT tagged in the post is just as, if not more, important than those who were. In fact, the primary audience is the former.

Today, Aaron and I planned on checking out this Malaysian restaurant in Chinatown that Chris and I had been planning on going before he took off to Vegas. But, sadly, when we arrived at the restaurant, we saw the notice that says, “We will temporarily close due to repairing. Sorry for the inconvenience.” No information about when they might reopen. It’s like what Chris told us about his situation. Again, life must go on.

We went to Taste of Northern China instead. This place used to be under the Manhattan Bridge but closed about five years ago. I’m not sure if they too claimed to be “temporary” at the time, but they’ve now reopened on East Broadway in a much larger space. Great food. Friendly service. I’ll be going back there on a regular basis. They are my new friends now.