26. September 2015 · Comments Off on Bittersweet · Categories: NMM.Trajectory.

When I tell Arlene that I am leaving in a few days, I am met with a stony face and an inscrutable silence which persists as the official position.   The staff will not acknowledge that I am leaving.

My friends and I say our goodbyes in our rooms.   All the girls got together and bought a travel chess set to wish me god speed and to remember them by.   Who can forget?  The jokes, the pranks, the mishaps, the rehearsals, opening nights, we did too many things together.

It will be hard to forget Jasmin, who sang in our choral group, who worked the Little Prince marionette in our production of the Grail legend, who worked with me at the florist, who was in my French class and helped drag me down the hall to the infirmary the day I got sick.

What will I do without Jo, who never ran out of ideas for things to do, who transformed dull dinners into luaus and festivals, who gathered us around her portable black and white TV for episodes of Playhouse 90 and Twilight Zone, and whose witty zingers made us laugh and brought us down to earth.

Jo held down the best job.  She was the person Gertrude could ask for help when her face suddenly broke out like a teenager’s.   Jo bought Gertrude what she needed, including makeup.


The night before I leave, Jo comes into my room with a new, white Samsonite carry-on.   Then she hands me an envelope which I am not to open until I am on the plane.

On my way to Pittsburgh, I am overwhelmed to discover that Jo has given me more than two weeks of her salary, enough to pay my tuition for a whole semester.

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