For what it’s worth, I don’t want to take THAT much with me, anyway.

Just a few things.

The champagne bottle I didn’t know why I was packing in the first place. The way you squeezed my hand when in that one movie (that made me cry A LOT) the friends started talking up the main character’s writing skills. When I was crying on the floor and you paused cooking that really good pasta to kneel down with me. The moment “sipping rum” also became “dance-to-musical rum”. The way we both react every time Phantom Planet starts. The butterflies I got when I saw you’d left a cryptic voicemail. Gringos Locos on my beach towel as the best damn episodes of season three play. The way he insisted on taking the stairs instead of the ramp the last time I saw him. When you called to tell me the news. When I woke up to see you’d texted the news. When you texted me thinking I already knew the news. That fucking Brandi Carlile song. The way we ran around on the last night in Orlando. The tequila shots and the OKOKFINEIHADAFEWCIGARETTES at Ale House. Me finding out you referred to me as a, “once-in-a-lifetime-hire.” The time you FaceTimed me and I was thrilled to know exactly why. The way she chose me the night she didn’t get in. My ten pounds of free potatoes. The selfies all three of them sent with tears in their eyes, the “here’s to the next seven” card, and every single time they call late just to chat. The day we marched. The way she hugged me before I left that day and said I’d always be a part of their family. The day you braved The Things in Seuss. Trying to find the waterfall. The moment we found all the hidden white cheddar cheeto puffs. The way you had your arm around me when we watched the last episode of The Good Place. The way we snuck out of the lobby to get nachos and pina coladas without your mom even noticing. That stupid freaking country concert. Finding out you’d passed the test. The day we saw Barney. That first 80% week when I just sat outside all day and read. The gin night. Woof. All the days I woke up early to write. All the nights I stayed up late to write. The night you were having a great time. Our roadtrip to see them and our 5 hour virtual hangout when we?? started?? showing off all our books for no apparent reason??? The way she told the others about my gift. The freedom we felt running around on our tropical photoshoot. When you taught me how to wand my hair and use white eyeliner. The way I felt when you told me she’d said, “of course — we love Katie”. The way you both just let me be whatever I needed to be the day I found out. The chills I got when I saw what you’d sent. The ways they swooped in. The way she said, “is now the time I remind you that you have a mental disorder that makes you fixate on things?” in SUCH a savage way that I only loved her more. When she venmo’ed her to make sure I had tacos that day. The way you asked for a picture of me in my construction garb. The conversation where I knew had momentum toward something big. The power hour pool day I’ll never remember the details of. The shark attacks. When I made Lin grin. When I saw Barack speak. When I did the damn thing. “Is this fun.?” The days we biked. The days we parked. The days we front porched. The absolute joy of the day we rediscovered Moe’s. The, “wanna just hop in my WebEx?”es and the, “I’m free if you wanna call and vent”s. The time Hrishi unexpectedly was on ReplyAll and I couldn’t stop smiling about it. The drum circle in the park. The time you made eye contact and mouthed, “you OK?” when I was tidying up our table. The absolute freaking bliss we felt observing the older woman hit on the guitarist. The lady that practically collapsed with joy right in front of us. The couple that made small talk with us by the tree while their kid played. The way we danced at midnight on your birthday. “to katie with shingles” Getting letters in your handwriting. When she wrote to me about why she chose my name. The ways they learned me and learned how to love me and didn’t even make it seem like that hard of work. The way we figured it out. The way we didn’t let it slow us down. The way we decided we’d take it in stride, be for each other no matter what, and find any way possible to keep each other close.

Oh, and Succession. Dang that show is good.

Happy New Year.

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