It is always peculiar to write from another place. You do not have the same wall to run into; even the deadends in a new city feel different. And what if you‘ve been here before? The ghost of memory and passed time haunts you as you move about the streets. Only one question hovers along with the bursting August clouds: do you remember this?
It is always peculiar to meet people after a long time. The air of familiarity irks you as much as the little changes you notice in how they have grown. As much as you wish, you do not have a say in the happening of growth. You cannot change its direction; you can only talk of its inevitability. A plant grows in the direction it wants to, and so does a friend, and there is little you can do about either besides accepting it.
As I move through this raucous mess of a city I last visited without my wits about myself, jaded, lost in exhaustion, and the delirium of having had a little too much to drink, I finally look around for the first time in a long time. I seem to have missed so much, as always. You never have the surety of your last moment with someone or a place that may have been torn down the next time you visit it. Life may transpire in such a way that the exact thing we are doing right now may be the last time we do it precisely in that manner.
I write all this, and I stare at it only to get lost in a blob of memory. All my life floats around me—everything coalesced into one large amalgamation. It tells me who I am, who I was, and how all of me and who I have been exists together. I think of years past, when I first visited this place, when nothing that has happened in all this time had happened, when we had not talked for hours about things that did not matter.
I think of it all, and with all its differences and things I do not much like, there is no other way I would have wanted my life to unfold. Everything that has happened is how I wanted it to, with all my crosses to bear.