I write this twelve hours before Marcus flies back to England, and even longer before he sets down his suitcase in his new flat and asks himself, “What next?”
Before I pick up the phone, call my dad, and say, “Hey, I need to talk.”
Before my mom decides whether her joints and legs deserve long-needed medical treatment, and returns to Toronto to seek it.
Before Flip turns to me and asks, “What next?”
What next, life? What stone will rise from this roughly flowing river to support my step? Will it be to stay in Buffalo? Return to New York? Visit yet a new city? Or simply lay in bed, for three days straight, in total isolation, living on junk food and watching episodes of the original Star Trek?
Because you know, sometimes Pringles and Captain Kirk are the only balm for a troubled heart.
The past five months haven’t been easy for either Marcus or I as a couple. As I struggled with family troubles and he struggled to imagine a path to the US, he and I grew even closer, despite a patchy wireless signal and Skype’s limitations. And yet, tomorrow, we will part as friends, not an engaged couple.
This blog is not the place to publicize Marcus’s state of mind, but I will say this: I hope he finds his courageous heart, and does move here, as he’d originally wanted to. I would love to be with him. Meanwhile, I need a job, a home, friends around me. For better or worse, we each have to do these things independently, hoping our paths meet again soon.
That is all either of us can do, and doesn’t have to be a bad thing, if the hopes we shared over the roar of Niagara Falls yesterday are met with actions tomorrow, and in the days to come.
Tonight, twelve hours before Marcus leaves to fly home, I feel the void close in. Marcus will disappear into the swirling black smoke of tomorrow, and I’ll remain, surrounded by the conflicting hopes, needs and longings of everyone in my life over the past several months, surrounded by crazy dreams and practical needs, surrounded by the past in all its heartrending import, and the future in all its curious shapelessness.
My mom. My dad. My brother. My lover. My friends [in many locations]. My money [almost none]. My job [none]. These relationships from New York, still thriving; these future dreams, worth pursuing; these recent hopes, laid to rest.
All must wither, waddle and wade their way through the following weeks until I can find a few worth holding onto, pack them into a shiny gold bag, stuff Flip into his carrier case, and step out into the unknown.
To be totally honest, with no sour grapes to be found… I want it this way.
I have always wanted to ask, “What’s next?” and not feel afraid of any potential answer.
What’s next for us?