Bookmark #814

I walk across the street that crosses into the main road. I notice the half-paved sidewalk. They seem to have covered more of it, but a few patches remain. Near them is a cairn of cement blocks stacked and balanced perfectly. A reminder of what this city was before and how it lived and died. Now, this city has changed, as have the people living in it, as have I. The fact remains, however, that change is good. They are making it better in every way, but the old bits have to come out, like weeds, like drywall, like the people we discard when we move onto better avenues, like how we, too, are left behind by others. To go forward and grow is a weird dilemma. There are parts you would want to retain, but keeping them would eventually remind you nothing has changed. It is not until you wipe the slate clean that you can chart a new course. But alas, the loss of leaving things behind is seldom talked about, yet it is still loss.

I reach the cafe, occupied morosely by this thought of change, of cutting out parts of the original like we do tumours, so I thought to call a friend, get my mind off things. The barista—who is new, too, and has replaced the old guys who I reckon have moved onto better things than making coffee for strangers and curating a wonderful list of tracks to play—brought me my coffee along with a sugar bowl to which I thanked her and said, “I would not need sugar,” something I have not had to say for years, not that I mind it but when you are lamenting over how things are changing, you might need your reminders spaced out by hours and not minutes. She smiled, and I nodded, and then she went back in. All said and done, I called my friend and asked how things were on his side of the country. We talked for a bit about this and that. Then, unprompted, he remarked about my willingness and receptiveness to change, of how effortless it was that I have always made decisions without regard to the comfort of familiarity. I chuckled.

I did not tell him that I was tired of fresh starts. I did not tell him how all this change around has discombobulated me. I did not tell him anything of this sort, but I did think of it.

I thought about it till the moment I slept.

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