June reminds me of nothing but a summer many years ago, one that I almost always forget, and one that manages to creep up on me, catching me off-guard. As much as I want to talk about you, there are some things all writers must cease writing about, and as well as I can articulate the little I remember of the love I felt for you, I do not know if I can do justice to what I’ve written previously, about June, about the sea, about you and about me. Some stories are better left unwritten, after all. And if it is impossible to resist the urge, they are better left written partially, like an unfinished draft. Some stories are left better off without an ending. This, too, has been a lesson.
When you write about and in love, you write from a place of absolute happiness or pain; I feel neither. I feel a gross indifference towards the person you are, and for better or worse, this is how it has to be; I believe it is the same for you, but what things are for you is not my concern. Spring brought with it a lot of joy, and also, calm. There is a large bundle of papers in my mind, wrapped and tied; old, torn pages with corners blunted by time. It’s a list of all things I’ve learned to let be in the world. Very carefully, I’ve added your name.
Your name does not cause havoc in my heart anymore. While June will come as June always does, and while I cannot much forget the years that have made me who I am, I have found grace in these steps forward—yours and mine. It is an unfortunate state of affairs they could not have been in the same direction. It makes me glad there have been steps, that we have, in our own way, walked away from the promenade in June all those years ago. I often thought a part of me was always stuck there, running and searching for you frantically, trapped forever in the forest of people and umbrellas.
Then, it rained the other day—early summer rain—and it occurred to me how all of me was here as the sounds grew louder and louder, and the city appeared as if submerged for a second. It occurred to me that I came home from the promenade a long time ago. We only reach some places so we can learn to walk away from them. This, too, has been a lesson.