If you've been following this Friendship Series, The Sad won't come as a surprise. The red line throughout these musings has been, after all, the temporary nature of an ex-pat's stint in Curaçao. Sooner for some, later for others, but inevitable for most: relocation.
|This little group felt as permanent as the hot tarmac|
on the street outside.
Whatever. Point is, you leave.
And here's where I--a collective I that encompasses every ex-pat you're leaving behind--wish I'd taken a page from the Antillean book and kept my emotional distance. Sure, email and Facebook make it a small world after all, and at the airport we'll promise to stay in touch, we plan visits back and forth--that's the selling point of your departure: "Now you have a home in Singapore / Barcelona / Timbuktu." We may actually do it, see each other once a year, maybe twice. But that doesn't fix the hole you leave behind, a cut-out of your silhouette in the fabric of my--collective my--life.
|The reunion three years later. Patrycja, already relocated|
to London, came back for a visit. Wim & Deborah
had their first baby; they left in 2012. Arno had a
girlfriend--soon to be wife. They left in 2011.
But I--individual I--would gladly trade in that Cuisinart and piano and patio set and whatever to have them back.