Twenty-third

Dear July,
I spent a lot of today trying not think too much about the fifteen degree drop in temperature I would have to endure by the time it was over. I tried to exist in every moment.
Driving up the coast with sweeping views of the ocean leaping out around corners.
Stopping to look at a plaque that Casey likes.
Having brunch in a café near the ocean and all ordering the avocado.
Paddling through the shallow waves, under the pier, across rocks, along the beach.
Eating ice cream walking through Port Douglas.
Sitting on a bench beside a ridiculously pretty little chapel, surrounded by palm trees and bromeliads and basket shaped tree ferns.
Taking photos of the scenery and each other.
Driving back again, one look-out at a time.
A spot near the ocean where dozens and dozens of little towers of rocks had been built – stacked up by people who had visited.
Taking a lot of pictures of the rocks because they were laughably pretty.
Building a little rock tower of my own.
And then we were at the airport, bundling ourselves out of Casey’s car and hugging each other. I told Casey that I’ll see him in Newcastle. “Newcastle,” he said, “At the latest”.  Sophie and Seb rushed for their flight and we hugged quickly. Our goodbyes are almost always quick. I wanted to grab them back and say goodbye again but it wouldn’t help; goodbyes are never enough, not really.
Then I was eating a solitary, contemplative airport dinner, thinking about how hard it is to say goodbye to people’s faces. The ways Sophie and I talk (voice memos and letters) don’t leave room for her frequent and sudden exclamations or my barking laugh she’s so good at eliciting. Tweeting at Casey isn’t the same as holding up phones to each other in a dark, loud club or drafting tweets together while walking along a beach. It’s hard to say goodbye to faces, to go back to being text-only moments in each other’s days.
But without the tweets and the voice memos and the letters and the group chats, we would never have ended up on a beach together. If you saved all your words for when you’re physically together, there would never be enough time to get through them all. Talking with faces is good but it isn’t inherently better than talking online. It’s rarer. But not more precious.
Alex x
I’m posting a blog for every day in July. Letters to July was inspired by Emily Diana Ruth.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year