Sunday, July 29, 2012

Goodbye

Every three to five years, we say goodbyes to things we love. We stay too long in one place until the place ceases to protect us, cast us away.
Now, I am saying goodbye to this room and this house, where Sean and I curled ourselves together on rainy nights or on lazy Sunday afternoons; and where on late nights or midmornings already late for work, I delivered pretend-lecture/conversations with Karl about Art and Architecture and History; for this has been up to this minute where my small family lived in the last four years--it would have been our fourth year here on August 15, but we never mark anniversaries; we don't celebrate dates.
Four years ago, I remember arriving here both with relief and trepidation. Relief for leaving that house on Mapa Street which used to flood every time it rained; trepidation because the new place was strangely new to us, too far away from the city where we worked, and we can't discern yet the good things that it promised. Or, if it ever promised anything.
But the sight of a cow grazing in an abandoned lot nearby and the sight of the trees and grasses; the comfort of the relative silence of the place; and the warmth of the light streaming from the sky to our windows, removed our initial worries.
"I feel like I'm in Istanbul," Ja had said as soon as we arrived, as he stood by the doorway looking at the Indians, our next door neighbors; and just across our window the beautiful Al-Ziddiq mosque issued its call to prayers.
For Ja had brought us here. Now, there's no more Ja to even ask, "Where are the Indians?" He just packed up and left, like an overnight acquaintance you meet at a party. Clean and light, isn't it? So, before I clean up and start packing, I still have to take pictures of the whole place, the things that Ja had once installed when we first arrived, and later abandoned. He never noticed that the place grows dimmer everyday. I will also take pictures of the stains in the bathroom and the markings on the wall, and the growing pile of books from the floor to the ceiling.
I'm nursing a bad headache as I write this, Dear Reader, and I badly need to vomit; so, will you, dear Reader, excuse me first, I needed to go the bathroom; and afterwards, I have to start packing.

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