In San Francisco, when you reach the end of a street, where there is no more asphalt, and where it simply ceases to exist, they put up this little sign that says “End.”
And it got me thinking. What if you knew when it was the last time you’d ever go somewhere, ever belong somewhere? Would you hold on to the moment, tying it around your wrist like a helium balloon? Or would you let it float away, knowing it would be replaced by more timely locations?
And what about people? If you knew it was the last time you’d see someone, the last time you’d talk? Would you create a preemptive nostalgia, drinking in every second until the tiny sign appeared, saying “End” and then slither away, a snake down the stairs, a stain down a drain?
I never knew when the last time was that I’d call Brooklyn home. I was away at college when my mother called to let me know that she’d sold the home where we’d lived from the mid 70s, where I’d carved the word “DOOR” into a door with the end of a screw I’d found, and then tried to deny it, where I’d run my hand through a plate glass window, where we lived with my father until he died.
I never knew when the last day was that I’d call Brooklyn home, and I definitely didn’t know that walking down the street with my mother and sister and tiny nephew who would later shout “love you, love you, love you!” as a farewell, that I would see a sign that said “End Brooklyn” and wonder about any of this.
It’s amazing what the folds of your brain can unfurl when you’re busy doing something else.