Marty Romero

Good luck to you in Utah my "almost-friend"

I am sad this morning. A colleague of mine is leaving the university. He was only here for three years and though we rarely worked together, we met a couple of weeks ago to talk about a one of the few projects that we are both working on. The conversation strayed into more non-work related topics. He is was LDS, so naturally we talked about growing up in the church, our families, our frustration with LDS leadership and policies throughout the years. his experience with the church is similar to mine.

We talked about his experience moving from Utah to Nevada and ultimately to Ellensburg. He said something that stuck with me because it was the perfect phrase to describe what I have been feeling for the past four and a half years. He said “we haven’t found found our family here yet.” I understand.

The Sunday after he arrived in Ellensburg, his name was read in sacrament meeting as a new family that had moved into the ward, so I’ve always known about his connection with the church. We’ve always said in passing, “let’s get a beer” (presumably to exchange notes, talk, become friends etc.), but twe never did (mostly because of me). That is what I am sad about.

What makes me sad is not that someone with a similar religious background as me is leaving Ellensburg, but rather becuase I too have not found family here. All of those “let’s get a beer”, “we should get a beer” comments that never became memories could have been a start to a good friendship. I have written in the past about how I have not only made no friends here, but how I have made no effort to do so. In fact, I have actively avoided making friends.

I don’t know why. I think that in part I am still hurt over the friendships that I have had to walk away from, the ones that were to toxic to keep, and the ones that were only close friendships in my mind, but not actually in real life. There is probably something in there about my relationship with my wife and the regret over that dreaded year that I wish I could erase from my past, but haven’t fully dealt with.

Good luck to you in Utah my almost-friend. I’m hope that we will be in touch.

When I wrote this, I was listening to this song

One of my favorite Damien Jurado songs. Something about this song feels like a sermon, the kind that is going to change you in some way, and Damien like a preacher who is speaking directly to you. Especially in this recording.

Jose Romero