“I don't want to say goodbye, but it is time, isn't it? I have waited for as long as I could, looked for ways to sustain things long after death, but there is only so long that can go on. There is a point, with a body, where the rot gets so bad that the person it once was is no longer visible. The color of the skin, the way the flesh sags and the eyes yellow make it clear that there is no longer life in the vessel.
It is time to say goodbye.
They were my friend for years, during some of the hardest trials of my life. I don't think I could have gotten through the things I did without them, and though I never felt better after talking to them, I was at least able to let my voice be heard in a safe place.
They were the one who I could share my darkest thoughts, the one who I could really let loose. But now they are gone, though they were gone long before I saw it.
Three years ago my friend died, and somehow they just kept on walking.
I remember when we first met. I had just left a play when we ran into one another on my way to the train station. We both saw the darkness of this place, and wanted to explore it. After that, we were inseparable, and though sometimes we had breaks, we always came back together in the end. And every time we would travel the street together, we would discover new unknown horrors along the way.
But things started changing, and they were no longer the person I once new. Their whole personality changed, and though I tried for years to fight against it, I think the truth neither of us wanted to admit was that we had outgrown one another.
I remember the night when I realized things would never be the same between us. We were walking along out usual route, looking at the buildings cast in black, while strangers walked past us as if we weren't even there. The conversation had stopped by then. I hadn't noticed, but it had been almost twenty minutes since we had said a word to one another.
For some people that would be normal, a regular part of the relationship. But that wasn't the case with us. I thought they were sick, or that they were just feeling off that day. But even the smell of them had become unpleasant, and familiar words and phrases seemed alien in their mouths. I didn't realize it then, but I see it now.
Three years ago they died, and somehow they just kept on walking.
This stretch of road will always be home, even if it isn't home when we are together. I have to find new ways to enjoy this place, and discover new secrets to share. But I won't share these secrets with them. I don't think they can hear anymore anyway. What I will do is share it with strangers, those people who don't know yet about this stretch of road. I will pollute them with the knowledge, and they will learn the feeling, the pull this place has.
Just like me, they will reach a point where they will not fight the call. And in time I may even call them friends. But it won't be the same as my first one, the one who I first traveled the streets of this place. I will leave them to wander in their rot, and I will accept that I have to keep on going. There are more secrets to share, more darkness to know.
I miss my friend. I miss them more than I could ever put into words. At first, I thought that the separation would feel like a revelation, but the truth is a separation is always a separation, and that is always going to hurt. And it does still hurt.
The dive we used to go to no longer exists. For years I tried to find solace in the memories I have of the place, but to do so would be to fall into the past. We can love our memories, and those we leave behind, but real living is moving forward.
So I locked my friend in the basement. Their hands don't work well anymore, and they don't have the strength they had in life. I will leave them there, my little evil secret that planted the seed. I will never forget the times we had, and not everyone will understand why this hurts.
Wellington Street is my home, and it is their home, but I can no longer pretend that it is our home. I will leave them be and let them rot, and find a new place to spread the message. And when at last their corpse has broken down, I will bury it in the garden so that they may be lost to the roots and the weeds. They will be unknown, their life lost.
Except inside, in a private part of me that I hold most dear.”
This last week feels like it lasted an entire month. Things are opening up, so there is a mad dash at work to try and get everything ready for tours and visitors. I am glad to have people coming through the museum again, even if I was secretly enjoying having the place mostly to myself.
My dad seems to be feeling better, and we managed to grab a bite before my shift yesterday.
The weather has started to really heat up, and I am thankful that the museum has decent air conditioning, even if I will certainly miss opening the windows up at night. There is a lot of work left to do, and not a lot of time to do it, but things are shaping up well.
I sent you a little gift I picked up the other day. It is an odd amulet that my boss thought wasn't of any real significance, though it is very pretty. Your letters have made the quarantine so much easier, and I felt like I needed to repay you somehow.
As silly as that sounds.
Maybe with things opening up you can finally make your way stateside. I am sure my dad wouldn't mind putting you up at my house, and it would be nice to get to chat face to face.