Going On Alone

Citadel, originally uploaded by Miss Laura M..

You can go to Calvi with one dress and a bathing suit in a bag and maybe a bottle of sunblock, and you can stay in a grass green room above a courtyard full of hibiscus and hydrangeas and you can take a tiny little train through the mountains to get there.

You can rent a chair and an umbrella for about $10 and swim in water that is clear and waveless except for the ripples made by the wind.

You can spy the snow on the tops of the mountains and remember a story that a guy told you once about how you can only see the snow and the sea at the same time in a scant few places on earth, and then he named the places. But he didn’t name this one.

And you won’t appreciate in the moment how this is all making you better, or teaching you something, but you can sense the shape of that change coming, how it might seem in hindsight when you’re on a sun-baked sidewalk a thousand miles away or on another beach somewhere else, under some other palm tree.

You can miss everyone and no one and two or three specific people so much that it aches, and you can be almost sure that they don’t miss you. Because they’re not on a beach, on an island, in the middle of the sea, waiting to go somewhere.

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