So Hard To Stay, Too Hard To Leave It

by Susan Pogorzelski on October 25, 2008 · 4 comments

I miss it now, I can’t believe it.
So hard to stay, too hard to leave it.
It’s hard to say it, time to say it,

Nickelback, “Photograph”

It’s quiet in my apartment — almost a type of soothing silence, if it weren’t for the wind howling through the trees outside and the raindrops trickling against windows. Roommate and I just finished up Day One of The Big Clean, and I’m left alone here as I shut down the music that has been keeping us company and finish whatever I can before the night is over. It’s a new day tomorrow, and I’ll be back to vacuum and dust and spackle the walls…but right now, as I sit on the floor of the apartment that used to be mine, I feel almost serene. Bittersweet. And a little lonely.

The white walls are bare, devoid of the paintings that used to occupy the space in the living room and make it ours. The only objects left on the floor are an empty trash bag, some newspaper, and items yet to be taken to Goodwill. All of our furniture is either in our new locations or hidden away in storage. This place that we’ve called home these past two years — this place that saw us struggle and change and grow, that invited friends and laughter and shunned heartache and sorrow — this place is empty, save for our memories that have enveloped us like the walls of each room. These memories will be the last thing we carry with us as we shut the door to this chapter in our lives.

The day was full of reminiscence for us, and although we laughed, beneath that mask was a level of sadness and, maybe, regret. Do you remember when we decorated for Christmas and strung the lights around the counters? Or how about when I made you, Roommate, wear a scarf as a babushka when we trimmed the tree? Movie nights and long conversation and moments of silent friendship as we sat in the living room immersed in our laptops. Food experiments gone wrong — and right — and ice cream runs down the block and cheers to only one glass of wine.

Every inch of this place felt like home. This is where I first brought Riley after adopting him, where he pounced after his toys and howled out the window, his tail wagging as he spotted another dog on the pathway behind our building. This is where Mikey fell in love with Ellie, after some hesitation, after months of Roommate and I anxiously wondering how the two cats would get along. This is where our own friendship was cemented; where best friend became more than words.

I’m ready to start another chapter in my life; I’m ready for the adventure that awaits me and the opportunities that are along this winding road I’m on, but yet a part of me wishes I didn’t have to leave behind so much in order to go forward. I know that you take a piece of each place with you. But maybe, sometimes, you also leave a piece of yourself behind.

And now, with only cleaning supplies on the counter and a vacuum in a corner, it feels very hollow, very empty. Very much like a piece of my past.

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