I don’t know how to say goodbye. Today is the last full day in Madison before we move on and I am thinking of all the ways I’ve said goodbye in a lifetime. Before Kurt, before I knew what a healthy relationship was, I broke up with old boyfriends by either waiting it out, hoping they would tire of me and I wouldn’t have to be the one to cause pain or, more frequently, by moving. Both are forms of running – from myself maybe, from pain, from the tough decisions. I even went so far as moving to California to break up with one guy and back to Pennsylvania to break up with another one.
This isn’t the time or place to analyze that flaw in my character, and past flaws are exactly that: the past. I haven’t had to practice an official goodbye in a long time. People are only an email, text or Facebook post away. But a town that has become like a lover is different in an exquisitely painful way.
the character of its food,
I’ve lived many places, and I can’t deny a longing for more than one place, but Madison has a charm completely of its own. It courts you, flirts with you, holds your hand and stops just shy, barely, of begging you to stay.
I don’t know how my experience would have been if I had lived on the hilltop. Living in the heart of centuries old houses, blocks from the pulsing current of the Ohio River, every day I was stepping out of myself, into something bigger, grander, older and more stable than my own wandering spirit. If there has ever been a town to settle a restless nomad, it is Madison.
Bah, I’ve gone sentimental again. Tomorrow for Goodbye Part 2 perhaps a limerick or a hokey Madison love poem.