Ren Snow

May 3, 2002 - Florida
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another, again

Again I sit in an airport gate.
2 hours removed from 100 days in Dublin.
15 hours from another Florida homecoming.

My heart aches for the Irish green I'm leaving.
It aches, too, for the warm beaches I've missed.

How obnoxious, to mourn both at once.
I will never have enough days at home.

Not enough days with my group of 20-somethings, from India, Korea,
Germany. Just kids, the lot of us, but the sort allowed to live alone.

Last week, for the tenth, thousandth time, we met to play board games in a pub.
A beautiful Groundhog Day of tipsy walks home along a lit-up river.

Last week was Groundhog Day, but for the glaring lack of a 'next time'. Also new:
the cake. I laughed at their determination to give me a European 'American 21'.

All my life I've heard "Better to have loved and lost." Advice for my 80s,
I thought, so I loved. Now at 21, I have few dead, but so many lost.

I can tell that my mom feels my absence when she texts first.
The texts are rare because she wants me to live in the moment.

She doesn't want me to worry. Of course I do. I won't have enough days with her.
Maybe 2 trips for frozen yogurt before I'm just an empty room and a quiet house.

Then I'm off again, constructing another home. Against my will, but entirely my idea.
Kansas City this time. What's in Kansas City? Barbecue, so I've heard, and an internship.

I've been texting my future roommate and she talks a lot.
I like her already. New friends, new life, all in 77 days.

I hope that's enough days fewer than in Dublin.
Enough fewer so that friends stay friends, and not family.

I'm straining to be present, but I feel like the product of so many absences.
By August, I'm in Atlanta again. I will miss that roommate I haven't met yet.

Atlanta is a return to best friends of 3 years, divorced by 5 time zones,
for 8 months. Future bridesmaids. Another life, home, family.

Another, another, another, again.
Each time, I leave and say "I'll be back." But will I?

My 'anothers' multiply like rabbits and run like hares.
'Again' is a wise tortoise. He kindly chases, but won't catch up.
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