I thought, “Sara, you’re being overly sentimental;” I wasn’t going to go –I didn’t really need to run today and my belongings surround me, inside of suitcases and out, and seem hopeless. But I wanted to say goodbye to the people at the gym who have come to expect me there. When I stepped onto the track, the ajumma who is in charge of general upkeep on weekdays smiled and held up three fingers –“I haven’t seen you for three days.”
“Yes,” I said, “and today’s the end” and it took a little back and forth to get across that I was leaving and not coming back.
And the track coach who I swear told me he won two gold medals at the ’88 Seoul Olympics, although he didn’t, I checked, so maybe he just meant that he did two events, had me write my email address in his date book, and spoke at great length about how the “children” could send me messages. Something about the enjoyment of talking and here and there; I just nodded and inserted “ne” where it seemed appropriate. Then some dude in stylishly ripped up denim shorts showed up whom he’d obviously not seen in quite a long time because he made all of the gestures and sounds that go with, “My god! You’ve gotten so big!” My reaction was “My god! Those holes reveal a lot of your upper thigh, don’t they?”
I ran a mile and a half in honor of the ending era. And realized that I really could stay here for a long haul if there wasn’t anything for me at home. But it’s too hard to live in two places at once.