I’ve left many places.
When I was eighteen, I left my home for the first time. I went to a small school on the shores of Massachusetts. Four months later I left that place and I went to another school, this one in the middle of Boston. Four months later I left that school and moved into a shitty apartment in Cambridge. I buried two hermit crabs in jewelry boxes in a dark courtyard and eight months after that I left Cambridge, too. I moved home again and went to a third school, a final school. That’s where I got my degree.
A year and a half after leaving Cambridge, I left Connecticut for the second time. I moved to Brooklyn. Then I left Brooklyn and moved to Manhattan. Then I left Manhattan and went back to Brooklyn. Then Connecticut. Then Scotland.
Eight months later, I’m leaving Scotland. I’m good at leaving places. It’s something I’ve been practicing. I leave places in my sleep. I go to sleep in one place and I wake up in some other place. Sometimes, at first, I don’t even realize it. Some places look the same. Some places are the same in most ways. Some places are different in very quiet, hard to notice ways. Some places, you could be there for months and then suddenly realize—oh. this is not where i thought i was at all.
Today I walked for a really long time. I walked for two and a half miles. It was kind of like leaving. It was practice, really. Practice for leaving.
Last night I had a dream. I woke up in a sunny Santa Monica apartment. S had left for work. I wanted to go running, and so I got up and got dressed and went out. I ran for a while and then I looked around me and realized I didn’t know where I was anymore. There was some kind of river in front of me and there were all these bridges. I couldn’t run anymore but I didn’t want to stay there.
That was kind of like leaving, too.
Sometimes you leave on purpose. Other times you fall into it. Sometimes you’re happy about leaving. Sometimes you’re sad. Sometimes you’re scared. Always you’re ready. You’re ready to leave when it’s time to leave. The day before leaving, you might not want to go anymore. But then the morning gets here and you’ve already got your shoes on and you’re waiting by the door.
I’m good at packing suitcases. I’m good at remembering everything that belongs to me. I’m good at waking up early. I’m good at going, going, gone.
photograph taken by Amanda in our old apartment in New York.