|SW 56 ST, a main Miami thoroughfare that runs right outside
my apartment complex, on a cloudy yet stunning afternoon.
I have a fantasy, which I try to make a reality as often as possible, of being in the denouement of something. It gives me giddy pleasure to be the least one to leave a classroom on the last day of school, the last one to be on campus after everyone’s left to their homes, the last one to witness a coworker’s last day of work, the last one to leave a newly defunct facility or home. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m always looking for ways to be the last one to leave from something.
During the week of finals for the fall semester, for example, it would give me great pleasure to be the last one to leave from the Honors College lounge after the last day of finals.
Maybe the fetish stems from having an appreciation for the feeling of nostalgia, and for the history of something. The most touching part, for me, of the history of a building or society or vehicle or group is its end; I’m always fascinated by how things come to an end, why they come to an end. In doing research for my term paper about public transit this semester, for example, one of the most touching anecdotes I came across was about the night the last trolley car ran in Miami. In the late 1920s, a lonely trolley car rumbled to the car barn as some officials from the transit agency were sitting inside, experiencing the last ride. One of them played his harmonica, lending an overdramatic and picturesque tone to the last night of active trolley service in Miami.
I don’t know why these things fascinate me, but they do. Maybe I’ll find out someday.