Stumps. Railroad tracks. Early sicknesses,
the blue one, especially.
Your first love rounding a corner,
that snowy minefield.
You have to get over your resentments,
the sun in the morning and the moon at night,
all those shadows of yourself you left behind
on odd little tables.
– what you have to get over, dick allen.
At some point, I might actually stop borrowing words for my own sentiments, but that point is quite in the distant future. How can I hope to own a image, a metaphor, that has not already been hopelessly exhausted, and by far greater writers than I?
Last night, I woke at 3 am, and was far too alert to go back to bed. That was when the Pearson missing hit, of course, though perhaps arising only out of the selfish desire to have someone close by with whom to talk. It was a strange thing, that proximity, and as much as I relish my solitude now, sitting at a desk in reception, Travelodge Vancouver, waiting for the bus to the station for the bus to the ferry terminal, it remains a faint impression like a beacon, yonder. I suppose all these little realizations and reminders will build as the days and the distance lengthen – everything is falsely halted with my almost ghostly presence lingering in Van/Vic. It’s a little hard to imagine the finality of the end, the negation of Pearson in the sensations of not being there anymore, and as whiny as I have always been about it and my place in it, still, everything grows on you, doesn’t it?
A childhood friend reminded me that it has always been about the people, for me. I find scant, cold comfort in places, and though upon my arrival at Pearson, I was overwhelmed by the blessed beauty of the campus, and I can acutely recall the moments and sights that have stolen my breath on more than one chilly morning, my flickering longing isn’t tied to that at all, perhaps surprisingly to my orientation week self, whose covetous eyes had been most drawn to the bay, the stalwart trees, the glittering waters, the sun slanting through the forest. Yet it seems I have been prepared for the end from the beginning, and that foreknowledge, the cardiac arrest of first year, the looming certainty of graduation, the weary relief of IB completion – all of that have cushioned the fall enough that it almost seems unrecognizable as one. It hasn’t been that long that I compared departure from Pearson to death, on a spur of a moment simile, and it doesn’t seem that wrongfooted a comparison, even now. Things end all the time, and things begin, and any impression that these beginnings and endings are distinguishable is simply a delusion.
At the same time, it is also far too easy to savour the wistful missing as a rare delicacy. It doesn’t quite compel action, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing. The ubiquity of long-distance contact is a little suffocating, and it’s often illusory, and I’m afraid of what its success or failure portend. It is probably time to enjoy my old home, at least for a while.