last hurrah

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Tomorrow is my last day: in New York, in the United States, and in North America all together. At 11:55 PM, fingers crossed, I’ll be on a plane taking of for France; first Paris, then down South.

I like signs and symbols and full circles and I quite like that I’m leaving at the very last minute, the very edge of the day. It feels like a nice closure.

The idea of coming back feels foreign to me. It’s been a little less than six months since I left France – five months and three weeks – and the closer my arrival time at Charles de Gaulle looms, the stranger I feel. I’ve missed my people, sometimes achingly so, and there where so many moments where I couldn’t wait to be able to lay my head on their shoulders, but now I’m scared about what it will mean to be in their timezone again.

For months I’ve defined myself solely through this trip and all of a sudden I’ll be stripped of it and I don’t know how I will handle that. I feel like so much has changed and that I’ll loose all of it once I step out the plane; like this person I am right now is only circumstancial and will disappear once I reenter a familiar environment. The metaphor’s completely out of proportion, but reentering orbit is never a delicate affair and I don’t know how much I’ll like relearning how to walk with gravity.

Tomorrow is my last day in New York and I hope I make it count. I’m going to pack, and then weigh my suitcases, and then probably pack some more, but differently. I’m going to wash my hair and maybe do a facemask. I’m going to buy a couple of bits and bobs that have caught my eye this week, and also get a postcard for my goddaughter; I’ll write to her the tenth and final postcard of the letters I’ve been sending her with every knew city I discover. I’ll make one last stop at Central Park. I will probably Google “free things to do in New York” because man, this city is expensive and my budget took a happy hit. I’m going to load up on Larabars and oranges for my flight. I might take a couple more pictures. I’ll buy flowers for the family that hosted me. I’ll have dinner at Shake Shack at Terminal 4.

I hope I fall asleep on the plane.

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