Saturday, February 9, 2008


Day Twenty-Two

The Wander


My throat tightened and the lump in my throat made it hard to swallow. I summoned every fiber of my will to keep me composed as the train drew further away from the life I’d led; it plodded steadily along its fixed iron way unsympathetic to the pain it was causing me. The wheels had been set in motion and adventure lay before me, but all I wanted to do is go back. Freshly formed tears grew steadily in the corners of my eyes; it was only a matter of time before they overcame their bounds. I turned my head towards the window just as the tears rolled down my cheeks. With my hand shielding my face, I fixed my eyes out the window but I never saw a thing. On the outside I was silent, on the inside I was sobbing.

I left Queens Road in high spirits. I’m terrible at goodbyes because I cannot take them seriously. “Goodbye, I’ll miss you” seems to me a lie; it feels as if I’ll be seeing them in but a few hours time. Also, “Goodbye, I’ll miss you” is such an inadequate statement when describing how I really feel; I cannot put that into words. As I prepared to leave, I took a time to look back. I tried to commit their faces to memory; I wanted to store that moment, that feeling, away forever because my rational side knew that it would be far too long before we would meet again. But I couldn’t shake the feeling as if nothing was changing, as if I were merely going off to dinner, or class, or for coffee, and I’d be back shortly. It must have been my soul’s defense against the horrid feeling of loss that was creeping upon it. I suppose that’s why when I left I was smiling and talking about the weather, and that I tried to downplay the importance of our separation. “You’ll come visit me right? And I’ll visit you of course!” I’d say with a smile, or with a slightly forced chuckle I’d joke that “we’ve already said goodbye once before” in reference to my departure for Europe.

This goodbye was not like before and I couldn’t deal with its reality. Then it hit me all at onc

It was while sitting on the gently vibrating train in the warmth of the Bristol sun when, without warning, the lid to my memories was cast open and I was inundated with the immense amount of memories I’d created in the last five months. I tried to keep my head above the flood and stay my composure, but it was to no avail, for resist as I might, I was quickly overcome and the tears began to flow. I do wish I could have cried in front of Queens Road, for maybe it would have better expressed my sadness in leaving than my feeble mumblings of goodbye. I hope they know how much I care for them. I hope I was able to, in my time in Bristol, adequately impress upon them how much they mean to me. I’ve been supremely moved by their love and kindness, and I believe the friendships we’ve developed are so very wonderful. It’s always a gamble when you say you’ve made lifelong friends, because friends come and go as your life changes, but I feel like I’ve made friends that I’ll know for the rest of my life. If there happen to be some friendships that falter of fade away, then I’ll be grateful to have had them and cherish the good times we had together forever. However, I really would like to do my best to maintain those relationships for the rest of my life.

I cannot say anymore without being redundant, but I’ll say one last time that I’m so thankful to have had them in my life, and leaving them was devastating, but I hope this will not be the last time we meet. I love them very much, and I hope that they know it.


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