I finally made it to the end of this chapter, turning off the lights as I leave this vast room. I can’t help but feel proud for the glimmering glow it exudes; so filled with life and purity yet flawed and so complete:
There rests the place I ate bagels every morning. A Pavlovian response made me crave every sesame seed. Battered in cream cheese, my mornings began promising with a new sense of hope for each day. A clean slate to redefine my name sought beyond that cafe. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
In that parking lot, I learned to skateboard. The flat ground and vacant nights led for perfect opportunities to soar throughout the parking spaces. A free freshman gliding at what felt like a thousand miles per hour via four wheels screwed onto a plank of wood. Granted I had more flattened rears than triumphs but the sense of release and liberty is unparalleled to any other transportation. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
At this bird’s nest, I could see my whole school. I had a few monumental moments on that lookout. Some were mere rock bottom defeats and others were complete triumphs to savor for the ages. I’ll spare you the details, but know that – like a snake – I shed flawed and naive skins for stronger and more adequate armor. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
Off campus, there was an outdoor alleyway filled with murals and art that beckoned for social justice and progress; truly a diamond in the rough. It was the ever changing treasure of such a drab atmosphere. What a metamorphosis it underwent throughout the years I lived here! Just like me, most traits changed and the remaining kept it whole. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
There was another place off campus that I fell in love with. A hotel downtown had these gorgeous glass elevators that raised you high enough to kiss the clouds. This pleasant view didn’t come at no expense, though. Security made it so that you needed a key to ascend to those heights… so I snuck in with posh clothing every time just to be launched into heaven. The city was perfect up there. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
Let us never forget that you didn’t have to venture through the city to escape. I suppose now is as good of a time as any to rant about the epic moments of my house. From broken windows, to newly beaten records, to won drinking games, to cherished women, to inebriated heart-to-hearts, to mournful hangovers that sliced your brain open and gnawed at your digestive tract, we escaped. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
There are thousands of other switches I could tell you about. This glimmering room is filled with them from head to toe. I should properly end this with my favorite sunset: I’ve seen many sunsets before, but the first time a sunset ever really diminished all other thoughts outside of that sight was off this beach about a mile away from my house. With our coronas and good cheer, we sat on the sandy hill as the waves nonchalantly rolled in. It was the first time something from nature made me shed a tear of joy. It’s a light in itself but it’s time to go, so I flip off that switch.
The room is pitch black now. The electric hum that kept this place alive is now gone, leaving that hollow isolated feeling that comes from such haunting silence. I grin while holding back a tear. I have to leave all of this behind me. The day dawns. The chapter concludes. It’s a cold limbo of unguided independence. But there’s books worth of chapters out there to open. New views full of unseen sunsets from around the world to savor! New heat and new places for me to transform and turn myself inside out. New air to frolic in, in the most unabashed of fashions. No matter how addicting looking back is, I simply will have to switch.