I’m on the orange couch, chilling in the afternoon, listening to relaxing music. Self plops down on the couch next to me.
Self: Nice music.
Me: Thanks. It’s for yoga.
Self: I like it. It’s pretty chill.
We sit in silence a while longer, enjoying the song, listening to the sounds outside of the street down below.
Self: So. One week left, huh?
Me: Yep. One week exactly.
Self: How are you feeling about it?
Me: I don’t know. Sometimes really excited, sometimes really scared. Sometimes it feels like it’s going to be forever until I can leave, and other times it feels like I’ll be home on my next inhale.
Self: [looking around the room]. You haven’t packed up much.
Me: That’s not true. I’ve got one suitcase fully packed and I’ve got piles of clothes in the next room ready to put in my space saver bags, and then my shoes I’m bringing slowly to the back room to throw into bags. I’m getting there.
Self: Yeah, but the living room still looks pretty full.
Me: Yeah, I guess. I woke up this morning to clean up the bookshelf. You see there’s nothing left there now.
Self: Sex and the City season 1 is still on the shelf.
Me: [chuckling] Yeah, well, that’ll probably stay out until the last minute.
Self: Do you feel ready?
Me: Yes and no. When I went for breakfast this morning I got a little sad. I won’t have Saturday breakfasts at Frans Cafe anymore. No more hippie fairs. No more orange couch.
Self: Thank God.
Me: No “thank God.” It’s an awful couch, I admit, but it’s been my place of respite for two years. It’s where I crash out. It’s where I write. It’s where I talk on the phone. This couch is home to me.
Self: You’ll find a new home.
Me: I know. I have one already in Queens.
Self: So how are you spending your last week?
Me: Ugh. Meetings, official ones and not so official ones. But it’s the official ones that are going to be the worst. I just don’t know what to expect and I don’t know the timeline of things and I don’t know how important they are. The financial guy in charge of our taxes cancelled on us at the last minute on Friday, so now I have to find a time to meet with him on Monday and I’m STILL teaching. All the way until Wednesday. I guess after that things will be better.
Self: Don’t go thinking like that.
Me: Like what?
Self: Like “after a certain point things will be better.” You’ve got to enjoy this last week. You HAVE to soak it all up now. Don’t save the enjoyment for later.
Me: There’s nothing enjoyable about financial meetings. But I see what you’re saying.
Self: Before you know it, you’ll be in the States and you can just stay there. There’s no expectation for you to return. You’ll have to get used to that. So far you’ve been used to needing to come back here. But the next time you go home, there won’t be a need to come back. This could very well be your last week here. Ever.
Me: I know.
Self: So then what are you doing facing the wall? Why aren’t you looking out the window and opening your eyes and soaking in the smells and sounds? Why are you stuck inside and staring at your computer?
Self: Stop this. Stop writing and just look outside. Go stand on your porch and take it in. You won’t have this for much longer. Just go.