… pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
“When do you leave?”
“10.30 in the morning.”
*shuffles back to his room slowly*
*and shuffles back to mine*
“And when do you come back?”
“I’ll be back on Wednesday, I’ll go to school for a couple of days and get back that night.”
“Ohhh? Ahh.” he says with a confounded look worn on his face. He closes his eyes just a little bit as if to say a prayer, which was what he was probably doing. His memory may be failing him, but his penchant to say a prayer never faded.
“Alright then, good night…” he says almost in a whisper, palm raised to say bye as we always do. Just a few years ago he would chastise me for raising my hand to say good night, admonishing that it was akin to saying get out. I never did quite understand the logic behind that but it didn’t matter in the end for he warmed to what must be a modern idea to him. Or maybe he just forgot.
As his door shut close, I felt the same familiar heartache that I do every week on a Sunday night. A heartache I used to feel even more keenly while I made my way with a heavy backpack down to the west end. Though I always wished it was the West End instead – no heartache there except the ones from the dialogues and that which the heavy step out into the cold London air filled you with.
Now I carry a laptop a fraction of the weight I once used to. I didn’t have time then to ruminate for too long, 8pm, admin kit, fast march or kiss the ground. And neither do I have the time now, javac, Grumbrecht, schedule schedule or reschedule.
But deep down I know: back then I didn’t have a choice, I do now.
Back then I didn’t have a choice, I do now.
I close the laptop lid, another day slipping into a minuscule but visible oblivion, deciding I’d leave at 8.30 instead.
Can’t be two lectures back.