Good night Columbia–
Let’s tuck you in for the duration of 2015. Let’s nod along, down, down Broadway Street to the tune of muted chatter lining the streets, where the lines at the bars are short and the parking spots are easy to find and El Rancho has no customers even at 12:45 a.m.
Good night to the feeling of normalcy of “Fall 2015”, as you are driving down College Avenue like you have many nights this school year but this time it’s different, and you don’t fully register that yeah, the town is sleepier
And some people aren’t returning in January, and their smiling faces will be one subtraction from the fabric of the culture of Columbia, mo.
Your friends have flown or driven back to their corners of the country, chattering away and spending their Saturdays in other places
While you show up to the apartment of the fellow writer who is moving back to St. Louis in two days who became your neighbor too late, and indignantly text the graduated old friend who can’t be bothered to leave his warm bed to bid a proper adieu
When you see them, you clutch them tightly, believing that if you don’t **HUG** and say good night, good bye, the right way, that their memory will cease to be relevant forever
You walk sadly away, down Broadway, staring at the crowded Piano Bar, wondering if you are imagining everyone standing closer together, celebrating the end of an era, or perhaps huddling together in anxiousness at the expanse of real life or blissful ignorance of the outer world that awaits them as December dies
Your apartment parking lot is empty. You open the door to find no shoes by the door, no dishes in the sink, no toothbrushes in the bathroom cupholders, an eerie, quiet calm
You lie on your bed, staring at the ceiling, willing tomorrow when you will settle in your home away from current home for 21 long days to come neither faster nor slower
All you want is for life to keep going
That if you say good night, Goodnight CoMo, that another day will be guaranteed to come
And come better it may