Five more days more, or even less. That is how much we have left, my love.
You’ve been great, my love. I barely knew you when we started out. As every little thing we spend enough time with, you grew on me, my love, and I think I love you unconditionally now. It’s just the time we spent together that makes us so attached to eachother.
It’s your streets that I have walked every day to work that make me shudder to think that soon, ever so soon, I am leaving you far behind, taking drastic measures : putting an ocean between us.
Every place that I leave is like this. The first impressions change slowly, leading to a radical new image.
At one point, after you’ve done enough relocating, you get used to this ritual and you arrive in some city you’re going to spend time in and you look at it and say:” by the time I leave, you and I will be good friends. You’ll seem all different to me, because you’ll soon become part of me and my thoughts will stem from the sidewalk I tread on, my dreams will fly above those shape-shifting clouds of yours. Yes, you and I will be good friends, chap.”
And so it was. Waking up, walking to work. The ten minute stroll, or the 5 minute quick step, I’m-gonna-be late-walk.
Settlement Drive into Ironbound Road into Treyburn, taking the short cut across a lawn that has a sign “please do not step on the grass”. Reverse psychology, and so my work shoes -slip resistent, restaurant approved hideous things- get wet from the freshly sprinkled lawn.
Sometimes the weird wild geese are grazing on a big piece of lawn and I pass them and they raise their heads up above their long necks, and look at me suspiciously, with their beaks open. Then they just continue their grass eating routine.
This solitary walk to work, then the walk back.
Then there are the bicycle rides that lend you wings, riding fast downhill, not caring to slow down, cause you are on the bike lane, on the pavement. How bad a biker could you be? (let’s not jinx it, though…)
You ride past the forest, you see deer sometimes, barely out of the woods, they see you too and run startled back into their haven. When it gets late you sometimes see raccoons crossing the streets in their unique suicidal manner, to get to the trash bags people have neatly put out for the truck the next morning. They rip and tear and burp and whoosh…back into the woods, garbage bags defiled, mission accomplished.
And then there’s the weather. Not like anything you’ve lived before. It used to be hot and sticky and sweaty in July and August. You’d walk back from work in your long black work pants thinking that somebody will soon smell the burning flesh.
Now the sun is more tender and loving, it touches your cheeks with a breeze accompanying it. The first day of September brought in fall with a punctuality never before seen. So it rains every once in a while and you’re stuck in the house, in this little nest you have tried to make your own.
Williamsburg. Why did you come here? some of the customers ask. I tell them a lie…because there was no concrete reason for it. It was a sum of small reasons that added up to this place that I had barely ever heard of.
But I was lucky enough to land in a town so peaceful and full of treasures, a town that was just what I needed: a bit of history, a good position on the East Coast (close to DC), a beautiful campus that I discovered only a week ago.
I wandered a lot this year. I soon will be able to say that I haven’t spent my birthday home two birthdays in a row- and that’s a first.
But travelling means leaving chunks of you behind when you say goodbye, and taking bits of the places with you. It’s like planting yourself somewhere, learning to grow there, in the conditions given to you…and then having to relocate. The information you absorbed remains with you, no matter where you insert your roots next. You drew water from that ground, you had that sun shine on you and that humid air touch your body- it doesn’t just go away.
Leaving a town is like parting from a loved one, one you got so used to. Someone who you’ve shared every side of you with, in sickness and in health, days off or days at work, rainy or dry, burning days.
Goodbye, my love, goodbye. My heart shall soon heal and find another. But you don’t care, do you? You’ve had many others too.