Early this morning at JFK airport, I saw a friend on a plane to Singapore.

We'd only known he was leaving since yesterday-- he'd only known since the day before. Leaving New York, never to come back, leaving the Stern School of Business mid-semester, leaving Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney and Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley interviews, all scheduled for next week. "Maybe I'll come back sometime as a tourist.." he said.

Dropping out of school. His father was dying-- has been for some while.

We started packing up his apartment on Lafeyette Street, but where do you start? Packing a year and a half of things that were so typical of a Stern student-- a flat panel monitor, those little cube speakers, accumulated Banana Republic clothes, a year's supply of creatine. Rugby uniforms. Economics books.

Photos from our Scholars trips to Madrid, and London. Pictures of girls, pictures of friends. From his service as a commando in the Singapore army.

Remnants of a life built in New York, and also of one continued in Singapore. Leaving, just like that.. never to return.

Most of us leave New York sometime in our lives--- some of us plan it, most of us don't.

I always had a perfect little plan in my head, for my life, which encompasses the lives of my friends-- We've been told that if we study hard, work hard, and hold our liquor, we're all going to be ok. Get good jobs, lead good lives, in New York.

Update: 3.06.2000. His father's dead, and he's coming back to school.