the departure effect

I wondered if there might be a word for the phenomenon that occurs a month out from moving countries: when suddenly everything, and everyone, in this claustrophobic town becomes intensely attractive and full of possibilities.

It’s hard to keep being afraid when you know you won’t be around to get hurt.

It turns out I know how to flirt after all, and I do it indiscriminately – with shelf stackers at Woolies and with the possibly-married owners of storage units and with soon-to-be-former colleagues. I look, unrestrainedly, at men who pass me in the street. I admire. Sometimes, I even smile.

I walk into rooms and meet gazes with curiosity. I radiate where I once retreated.

And then I realise it’s not the citizens of Brisbane I’m attracted to, no matter how sundrenched or muscular. It’s me.

I am The Girl Who Is Going To Paris, and I am in love with her.


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