May will forever mean London to me. I went to London twice for study abroad programs, each only three weeks. Thinking about it now, it’s so weird. I spent a total of six weeks in another country. Three weeks is the longest I’ve ever spent outside of the state of Michigan. Clearly, I chose well as far as destination. Sometimes I just want to walk outside and scream, “I’VE BEEN TO LONDON! I’VE BEEN THERE!” It’s such a fulfilling aspect of my life and education. However, like any addiction, withdrawal is a tit.
It can happen anywhere. I’ve been in stores, on the street, and in my home. Usually, it happens with smell, which is weird because that’s not the sense that I would list as my best. I suppose science might say that smell is most strongly tied in to memory. Anyway, I’ll get a whiff of something, food, gasoline, life really, and I’m absolutely transported back to Catford or to Charing Cross Station, or to that path between that huge marketplace and the church that Shakespeare supposedly went to.
I’m not completely transported, unfortunately. It’s more like my body remains in Michigan and my heart is ripped straight out of my chest and returns home to England. It’s as close as I can guess how being splinched feels like. I’m paralyzed in place, unable to move forward or backwards. I’m simultaneously here and where I’d been. It’s awful and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Pain sucks, for sure, but it’s proof that something really happened.
I feel May arriving like a tangible object. I get restless and want to take long walks through Ann Arbor. I want to sit in a park and read Jane Austen. I have cravings for Carlsburg on tap. My molecules sing with the memories of London and how lucky I was to go.
I’m saving up money to go again. I’ve talked far too much about London, or maybe just once was enough to hear the love in my voice. Anyway, my friend wants to go back with me. I don’t really have extra money to save each month, but it’s always on my mind, this desire to go back. I keep thinking, “Just do it, Sherouse! Don’t be an idiot! Go. You want to go so badly.”
And I do. God help me, I want to go back to London so fiercely I can taste it.