Hey Grace, remember that night at the residence when we stayed up for hous whispering to each other in the dark, giggling at our own silly stories and random commentary until Floortje burst in the room furiously demanding we pipe down, and we hid under the covers from her?
Hey Jeff, remember that time when we went spear fishing and I stepped on that sea urchin and you had to pee on my foot to neutralize the venom? When I looked up at you mid-pee to see your lips curled into a creepy little smile of satisfaction and said to you "You're enjoying this aren't you?", to which you laughed devilishly and responded "Yeah, a little bit."?
Hey Gareth, remember that night in Prague when I was so sick and couldn't sleep because I could barely breathe and the snow outside just kept falling and falling and falling? When I laid my head on your lap and you told me stories until I finally lost consciousness and you stayed there sitting with your back pressed against the headboard all night? When I asked you the next morning why and you told me that you didn't have the heart to move and wake me up, knowing I'd be plagued by sleeplessness again and that all you wanted was for me to feel better?
Hey Sanoe, remember that day when we skipped school and drove to Waimea to do the White Road hike and then made up wild stories to tell our parents the whole drive home which would explain why we were soaking wet and covered in mud and slime from crawling through the aqueducts when we should have been in Algebra class slaving over Inverse Functions?
Hey Hayley, remember that time when we stole Ingolf's car and took Cody for one of our stalker drives past Danny's house? When we drove back to the village afterward complaining the entire way that the car was going so slow and smelled like burning rubber, only to discover when we'd already reached the house that we'd been driving the whole time with the emergency brake on?
Hey Jose, remember that afternoon when the heat in Granada got so unbearable that we put on our swimsuits and marched down the the water fountain near my apartment? When we hopped in without a moment's hesitation and screamed random and ridiculous things at the passing cars about how we wanted social change, international nuclear arms bans, and most importantly, mas piscinas en la ciudad?
Hey Orkun, remember that morning when we went to the park in Tilburg and spent hours walking around, taking pictures, and playing in the huge piles of leaves under the trees? When we went back a few weeks later at nighttime for round two, then sat for hours in the car afterward talking about life, love, and everything in between while listening to that Jill Scott song over and over and over again?
Hey Su, remember that time when we got caught in that giant snowstorm on the ride home? When it took us so long to get to Queens Park that we eventually just got off the bus and walked the rest of the way home, playing in the snow and asking random strangers to take pictures of us? When we finally arrived and stayed outside playing until our fingers froze and we couldn't get the front door open anymore and were afraid we'd die of frostbite standing in my front yard?
I miss these things. I miss these people. I miss being close to them, being able to reach out and touch them, hear them laugh, and exchange with them the seemingly insignificant details of everyday life. I do not regret any of the experiences I've had, nor choices that I have made, but I do regret that I've managed to stay so far from some of the people that I love the most in the entire world. This is something that's been bothering me a lot lately. More and more with each passing day. And sometimes if I stop and dwell on that thought, I'm overwhelmed by a wave of almost paralyzing melancholy.
"I'm lonely. The loneliness is palpable."
I hear that.