I chase the final fly through the empty house, whacking at windows, slapping at carpets, and feel no sadness. And maybe that wasn’t the final fly. Maybe his cousin, or uncle, or wife’s second husband is lurking behind another blind. I will swat him too, and moan about what happens when you build a subdivision on a farm.
Flies. Flies are what happen.
The swatter echoes in the empty space. The walls are too white. The baseboards dustier than I realized. And still no sadness.
I’m immune to leaving. I’ve been leaving since the day I was born. I think, sometimes, that I was born to leave, I’m so good at it. Leaving is like breathing for me.
And I told my son with a shrug the other day, “There’s a last time for everything. Don’t ever forget that.”
When you learn to leave like I have, when you’re raised up on leaving, you realize that you only leave the things and it isn’t the things that matter, but the memories. You can’t leave the memories. You take those with you. You hold the memories.
The house is stark without us, no longer a home, the last fly buzzes inches from me. And . . . no . . . no sadness.