Damn…We’re leaving

They say the last 3 weeks will just fly by in an instant. Already, the summer has come and gone. The other day I was taking Max (the dog) for his daily walk, when there on the ground, crunching under my feet, were the first red leaves of autumn. Looking up, I saw the trees blushing in the golden sunset, and the wind that picked up had that distinct, crisp chill that creeps up your legs on the first day of the semester. The day you carry only a spare notebook or a stray piece of looseleaf, and the syllabi flop loosely, uncommitted to, in your empty backpack.

I feel like there are a lot of things that I should be doing, important things like getting my visa in order and packing. The blogs I’ve read say that you should pack 3 weeks in advance, so that you have time to go over everything before you leave. Every night I tell myself that I’ll get to it tomorrow, that I’ll go through my clothes later, make a checklist and cross everything out, and yet day-by-day I find myself doing…nothing. And yet, I can’t find the time to do anything.

It feels like I have a paper due, and so far I have a shoddily put-together outline with vague ideas about what I’m going to say, and about 20 zillion quotations flagged in my book, none of which really tie into anything.

All I want to do is hug my kitties and play on the piano. I’ll be sad to leave them behind. When I listen to a piano piece and close my eyes, I can feel the cool keys pressed under my fingers. They say smell is the strongest sense for memory, but the problem with smell is that you can’t just bring it up to mind. It’s one of those things that you completely forget about, until BAM the memory’s punching you right in the face. Touch though, all you need is a picture.

In Sydney I visited the Art Gallery of NSW. The piece that I remember most – in fact it obliterates nearly all other memories of the place – was a simple video project that looped endlessly. In it one saw, in high definition, the hand of the artist running gently along a multitude of surfaces. A cement block. Wet sand. The bumpy-smooth texture of wood grain. The hand moved so slowly, so silently, that I could feel my own fingertips tingling with sensation.

I’ve been taking lots of photos of everything on my phone, so that I don’t forget.

Last night I found it impossible to sleep, 1) because I had imbibed a ridiculous amount of caffeine during the day, and 2) because of the obnoxious mosquito that would whine in my ear every time I dipped into sleep. For a long time I lay in bed listening intently (motherfucker flew under the bed), when suddenly it occurred to me that I wouldn’t have any of this anymore. The quiet snores of people sleeping in the other room, my books, the lazy comfort of having everything in its place and at my disposal whenever. It seems like such an obvious thing about moving away, but it only really hit me yesterday, right in the gut.

I feel like I’m waiting to wake up, like I’m hoping for the moment my eyes will shoot open and the brightness of the day will zap my body alive and the energy will come back in my limbs. But it’s as if I’ve woken up an hour before my alarm clock, and the sky is still grey and dull. If I go back to sleep, I’ll miss everything and wake up as heavy as the wet, sludgy snow outside. If I stay awake, I’ll slowly drain away.

I wish we could know when exactly we’re leaving, instead of hanging in limbo like this.


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