Today was the last day in London for us. For now.
It’s here, this transition. The last days at work are done. The send-off drinks with friends and coworkers.
We woke up at 11:00 Sunday in our room. Our first married room. It was all as it had always been. The buntings from the wedding on the walls, the artwork made in strings I hammered out in April, the clothes and bedding and deep sense of us in the space we shared for 13 months. By 14:00, it wasn’t our room anymore. It was a strangers’ room, in a strangers’ house.
We spent today wrestling with references that we can’t get, for a job we thought we had, in a country we’ve never been to before. Once that grew tiresome we went to the pub.
One of our favourites was suddenly just gone in front of the London Eye. We managed to find the first pub I ever went to in London, and I got my last Gamma Ray from Beaverton. It’s my favourite English beer, even though it’s an American-Style Pale Ale.
After 495 days, it’s time to move on from London. I came here with a pixie cut. I didn’t have my MA when I arrived. I wasn’t a trained bartender. I wasn’t engaged or married.
I’m leaving a married woman, with shoulder-length hair that I can braid. A bartender and craft beer specialist with three new piercings and four letters after my new name.
It’s time to go.