I stop mid-sentence, resting my ink-stained fingers against my head. The words, so eager and ready to find their place on the page before me, are forced to hold back and wait for another excruciating second, before I pick up my pen again. Even then my own stern voice rings too loudly through my head: do I have time for this? There is a sheer endless amount of things I have to get done, their due dates and deadlines inching closer with every second I spend writing on this letter. No, I finally conclude, answering my own question. Yet, I don’t put down my pen, sacrificing Swedish grammar lessons for the familiar sound of it scratching against paper. I’m already late this time. You have come and gone – faster than any year before – and while I should really be writing my farewell to September at this point, I find myself staring at a piece of paper dedicated to you.
I miss you, you know. Feel like, we have gotten so little time together after you dropped me into that new life of mine and vanished, as if too scared to see the feelings not yet written on my face. It wasn’t very polite or graceful and yet I understand that you are operating on your own terms, taking two steps at a time, when you feel you have to. This concept has always been dizzying to me. How can one moment go by at the blink of an eye, while others seem to be lasting a lifetime, stretching their sticky fingers like chewing gum into eternity? What about the ones that are both, long and short, simultaneously there and then not? It makes my head spin to think about it. But to you, August, it’s normal. It is your reality, your life and while you have left for the year, I’m still here to tell you how I’ve been:
It wasn’t easy, of course. You warned me about that, before you even picked me up. And yet, I feel more ready now, like those few days spent with you, have prepared me for a year – a lifetime – without. I have grown, annoyed by the mistakes you have let me run into without warning, and the success I have felt after finding a solution to each and every one of them. I have lived, breathed in the salty air and heard your voice in my ear whenever homesickness, doubt or melancholy have tried to hitch a ride. Admittedly, it might not have been you talking to me at all, but some clever lyric that just made me think of you: ‘just stop your crying, have the time of your life’. Don’t worry, August, I did, I have.
Satisfied, I lift my pen of the page, reading and re-reading the words I have written, tasting them in my mouth and trying their sound in my ears. Only then do I remember the other things I pushed back in order to write this letter – and smile. In the end, there will always be time for a scratchy pen on paper and a couple of words directed to you.