A MOMENT OF CLARITY ‌ Later, Chuck 

Another girl rides off into the sunset

I'm in the middle of a breakup. This time, though, there's no man involved. I'm breaking up with Charleston. After four years together, we're parting ways, and as with any breakup, there's mixed feelings.

The city did nothing to wrong me, and I think I've been more than gracious as well. In fact, the only damage I may have inflicted on Charleston was parking illegally at every opportunity. Which, of course, I made up for in over a grand in fines. To my friends down on Lockwood, it's over. I'm gone.

Charleston and I had big plans, some of which we fulfilled together. There are still a few things on my list, though, and I'm kicking myself that in four years I didn't manage to check them off. I never painted the boat on the way to Folly. I lived a block from Marion Square and didn't make it to Movies in the Park. The Bridge Run didn't happen for me, but let's be honest, that was never going to happen. I didn't visit Angel Oak, and never tasted the coconut cake at Peninsula Grill.

Sometimes a relationship's best end is a slow dissolution. There won't be a dramatic exit for me, and I've neglected to say my official goodbyes to quite a few good friends. No sloppy bar crawl or sumptuous dinner can commemorate these years, and there isn't enough time to finalize these friendships. I hope I won't offend anyone by slipping quietly out of sight.

I've always known that I wouldn't stay in Charleston. Staying here would be like marrying my high school sweetheart. Sentimental, and might make a good story, but probably a bad decision that would end with hard feelings. I'm certainly not moving to escape anything, although there are a few memories I'll be happy to leave on King Street. What is it about Charleston that makes it impossible to avoid certain people? I've had enough of those run-ins. Enough of my dirty laundry has been aired. It's time to go.

I cried hysterically the other night at Johnson's Pub, and with the same abandon and volume as when my parents pulled out of our driveway in Florida before we made the trek to Chuck for the first time. It was the realization that a period had been placed on the last sentence of another long and formative chapter. But that's the thing about books, the chapters just keep going and going.

I've never referred to a time in my life as "the best years." Calling something the best indicates that the rest isn't as good. Charleston was good.

But my SUV is stuffed like it's had a hangover lunch at Kickin' Chicken, and I won't be able to see a thing in my rearview as I head down 17. It's better that way. I'm in no mood to look back. Thanks for the memories, Charleston. I'm happy to have been here, and happy to leave.

Is it us, or do we just keep getting involved with the wrong types of girls? Interested in using this space to chronicle, in detail, your single life in Charleston? Drop us a line at editor@charlestoncitypaper.com.


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