Hey, Washington! Boston’s calling. We want our friend back.

I was excited for last night’s karaoke, but part of me was dreading the evening. It was to serve as the send-off to Tom, a friend trading in Storrow Drive and the T for the Beltway and the Metro. We had cake, we had song selections and quite a few of us were all too aware of the bittersweet nature of the night ahead.

That said, the group with which I spend my Wednesday nights each week decided to take those twinges of sadness and turn them around. Among selections by members of the group:

  • “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (“Please don’t leave me, Tom, don’t you go”)
  • “I Would Walk 500 Miles” (“…since that’s almost the distance to DC”)
  • “So Far Away” (“Tom. No.”)
  • And I was part of a little group that delivered a loud, raucous take on Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” It probably (definitely) would have made Kelly cringe, but it made Tom laugh, dammit.

Tom himself closed out the night with the tune that has become his signature song; I never thought the Darkness would make me misty-eyed.

It was a night for laughter. But before I went to sleep, I thought of the lyrics Beth sent my way (and which made me cry) when I was about to move to Washington six years ago this month:

The summer ends and we wonder where we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And you both look so young
And last night was hard, you said
You packed up every room
And then you cried and went to bed
But today you closed the door and said
We have to get a move on.
It’s just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead,
We push ourselves ahead.
And it was cloudy in the morning
And it rained as you drove away
And the same things looked different
It’s the end of the summer
It’s the end of the summer,
When you move to another place