Beginning(s); middle(s); end[ing(s)].
How do you mark these chapters? How do you (neatly) mark them?
We sat on the edges on two rocks somewhere around Na’our. You faced the west and I the east – each trying to take in the changing colours of the sky, the rocks and the trees. A scene unlike the lowland landscapes of the book that made us friends.
I chased a lot of sunsets – within the city and the concrete and in the stretches of rocks, sand and the mountains. I walked with sunsets – up and down the hills, along streets that would become the quotidian. Sunrises, however, remained elusive – sometimes painted yellow, sometimes in blues. They were reserved for summer mornings with running shoes, for the parties that tested your endurance, and for evenings that turned into sleepless nights. Always elusive, always reserved for the highs and the lows.
You learn to cherish the goodbyes, the closures and the stories to-be-continued. First, it was a yellow mug with an image of a llama with Dali’s moustache. Some years later I’d realize my alma mater’s mug was also left behind. Somewhere. There was a missing green knife somewhere in the middle. Most recently I parted ways birthday gift – an hourglass with سميرة scribbled at the bottom.
The ones from before are evading your memory for now. Remembrance feels like a muscle which calls for regular practice. I’ll for a long time remember this night in the first room I’d inhabit in Amman. About a week after moving a small doubt would manifest into a deep ache around my body’s core and I panicked. What have I done?
It was also friends, acquaintances and regular strangers. Friends would include those known for nearly two decades, those half a decade and those I’d meet for a few months. It wasn’t that I hadn’t lost them before, it was only that I grew more accepting of it. About the regular strangers – I sometimes wonder if they notice my absence in the spaces we shared.
You find joy to have parted a little fonder, a little less bitter. You reassure the man next to you that you’re not afraid of flying and that you’re only taking a moment to grieve. What have I done?