This last week's been pretty busy. I'm back on a more normal work schedule, so I've been at work till 5 most nights. In and of itself, that's not a big deal, but it always seems so much later and longer since it gets dark before 4. By the time I leave work, I always feel like I've been there forever. Of course, winter hasn't even officially started yet - it's going to be a long three months.
In addition to that, it was Pivo's last week in country, so I hung out with him a few times, and somehow got convinced to help him clean his apartment before he had to clear housing. He had to give up his apartment on Friday, so he crashed at my place till Monday (and also managed to trash it in the process - I already had a bit of a mess in progress, but he accelerated its development - also, I'd like to think I would have washed at least one or two pots before dirtying the rest). I finally made it to Prague this weekend which was kind of his last hurrah although he'd originally been trying to get a huge group to go, and all but four of us got too busy to go. I enjoyed myself, especially since all the bars we went to had really fun sounding cocktail menus (except for the last one, but I'd already been cut off at that point of the night).
I ended up driving him to the airport, which I'd actually been expecting to for a while. I was honestly surprised when he told me a few weeks ago that he'd asked another person in our unit to do it - who then backed out on Thursday. Well, actually it really wasn't the guy's fault that he got assigned to a different task, however he could have called Pivo rather than mentioning it when Pivo called him to ask if he wanted to go to Prague. Anyway, I'm not sure if he hadn't asked originally because he just figured I hated driving, I'd have to drive back down later the week anyway (turns out that I don't anymore), or because he had an idea of what might happen and was just trying to avoid a scene.
Before Pivo left, I'd had two different people ask me if I was going to cry when he left. One person I told I didn't know, and the other one I just gave a dirty look due to the sarcasm in his line delivery. Turns out, yes. In the middle of the airport while in uniform.
Pivo was the second person I met from our unit after getting to Germany. My first weekend, three of us went out/got drunk twice, and both times Pivo and I were the more sober/less wasted, rational ones that were basically laughing at the third guy, especially when he started up the same story for the third time on two separate nights. Word for word.
Since we got along well, we hung out more, and eventually got involved (except it wasn't that eventual). We broke up while we were in Iraq, and the first few weeks were incredibly difficult for me, because he'd been my best friend down there, my work out partner, the guy I ate all my meals with, and the person I could vent to about work. Basically, he helped keep me sane. I even had him pin my rank on me when I got promoted instead of my commander as is traditional. After we broke up, he decided we needed distance, and we kind of started finding our own groups. In ways, it was harder for me to find a new group to hang out with because I tend to prefer one on one friendships (I don't need a large group of friends, but I always like/want to have that one person around I can depend), and you can't do that with an NCO (which is what most everyone in the Army is) without starting to get into fraternization issues.
Since we've been back in Germany, we've been hanging out a little bit more again. Despite everything, I still get along better with him than any of the other officers in my unit, and I haven't had quite enough time to become good friends with any of the other lieutenants in the battalion.
While I know that it's actually a good thing for me that he's gone (for some reason it takes me forever to get over people, I don't know if I get too attached or what), it still would have been nice if he'd been around a little bit longer. I guess now I'm going to have to really make the effort to get to know other people instead of using him as a security blanket, but I'd like to think I was making progress even with him still around. The thing is that even with our history (or despite it or because of it), I still feel incredibly comfortable talking to him about most things. As long as I don't go off on too much of a tangent about celebrity gossip or something like that, he generally listens. I don't really have anyone like that in Germany right now. All of my friends are now either in the States or deployed - basically, a phone call or an email away, but still a continent and a time zone to contend with.
Basically, it's just incredibly weird that he's gone because he's been such a big part of my life for the past twenty-two months. The guy that picked me up from the airport is going to be gone in less than a month. I'm no longer going to be the last of the officers to join the unit, I'm going to be the senior LT, and it's going to be me explaining the Army and Germany to a new platoon leader soon. If we ever get one. There are actually going to be a lot of goodbyes in the near future, this was just the first, most painful and most important of them.