I’m no good at endings. None of us are. Better to pretend you’ll see each other in a few days. Better to deny. Better to leave the party without saying goodbye.
You’d think that in order to culminate four years of labour, I might have prepared an epilogue, but no. Instead I went to a wedding, got drunk, spent the next day chucking my guts up. The literary life we all aspire to.
I do remember there was a conversation with the bride about this very newsletter that culminated in us both crying. There was possibly something poetic I could have drawn from that conversation, but no. Pinot grigio: one. Keziah: nil.
I tell my mum I’m struggling to find the right words. She says, Oh you’re just like vicars with their sermons. They always leave it til Saturday night.
She’s decided to sell her house – the family home of thirty-seven years. It will be sold long before I’m able to return to England. But we’re both glad that when I left the house in July, I didn’t know it would be for the last time. Much too maudlin to linger.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about what a power move it would be to leave a country without telling anyone. When I left New Zealand, far from bowing out discretely, I threw a party and was full of promises to return. But that was nine years ago. So lying obviously feels good at the time.
All of which is to say, it probably would have been more dramatic – more artistic – to ghost, to just never show up in your inbox again. But you deserve better than art. Art is a lie if ever I heard one.
After I hang up with mum, I put on a facemask that smells like cinnamon and contains the stuff that eats your dead skin. It stings in a way that feels satisfyingly productive.
Most skincare is beautifully-packaged lies as well. But if there’s one thing I know in my bones to be true, it’s that if something hurts, it must be working.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 22nd November 2020 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.