Friday, May 2, 2008

Saying goodbye

I was sitting on the couch, studying. A Sex in the City re-run with the volume down low was providing just enough distraction to keep me awake. She came in from the computer room and leaned over the back of the couch to give me a hug. A long, hard hug. And, with the hug, without speaking a word, we both said thank you.

When she finally let me go, she said, “You know, I think that this was good for both of us.” I agreed. I’m not sure that I can say exactly what staying with her has done for me, but I suspect it’s a combination of her genuine hospitality and her expertise as a retired psychiatric nurse that has kept me together these past four weeks. And, although I knew I would miss her, I was surprised by the lump in my throat when she hugged me. I did not expect to have to gulp down a few tears as we said goodbye.

She went on to bed, and I stayed up to finish Sex and the City, uh…I mean, study. When the show ended, I turned out the lights, put my books away, and tiptoed back through the dark house to her kitchen window. Leaning with my elbows on the counter, my chin propped in my hands, I stared at the street light at the end of her cul-de-sac. The lamp post has been enveloped by a Bradford pear tree in full bloom.

The blossoms on the tree glowing in the dark, the soft light rounding the corners of the neighbor’s mailbox, the shadows resting on the lawn…

Places like this, people like Dorothy will always feel like home. I am restless, eager to move on and build a life for myself elsewhere. But, part of me will always be here.


Maria said...

I have places like that too. And the best part is that you can always go home.

dive said...

That's so sweet, T.

MmeBenaut said...

You will have a place in Dorothy's memories too, little Terroni.
That's a beautiful tribute, beautifully written.

nina said...

Wow hon... i don't know what to say but i have clearly a vision of you, chin in hands looking out the window in the dark. I could even hear the quietness of the house.

i think beginnings and endings are paired together to make the ending part not so difficult.