Of time and departures

Six months, dear readers, of my precious and quickly waning youth have passed since my arrival here in Buenos Aires. And, as such, the day of my departure draws quickly nigh.

My dwindling days in the city have been spent very much like those that came before them. I wander. I drink cortados in cafés in Palermo. I stroll the ferrías in San Telmo and Recoleta. I eat empanadas and sip maté all afternoon.

I have the odd feeling that some of me has already gone, fled northward to evade the onset of the heart of winter.

Time has taken on the character of liminality. Somehow the present dissipates into the past and the future and I feel neither here nor there, neither in this city nor the city for which I am bound.

The traveler never grows accustom to this, the bizarre nature of departures. Strange and wonderful, terrible and terrifying, these moments mark the itinerant and they are, in the end, why one travels. To be strange to those around you, to speak strangely and to put yourself into the spaces in which you find yourself strange, in which you find yourself other–this is the best reason for all reasonable travel. This otherness is most salient just as one arrives and, again, just as one departs.

So, in this state, I am off to my own despedida. I hope that you, oh followers of mine, will forgive my waxing poetic for a moment. Departures have that effect on me. I think they have that effect on all true travelers. We are a melancholic and nostalgic bunch, would-be poets all.

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