Warsaw: Sunday 28th October 2012
Well, if it were not for the pain of leaving we would not truly know the joy of living. The Snow which fell continuously in bitter flurries, on Warsaw, yesterday is slowly melting and large clumps are falling from the roof tops, as the last of the October Sun returns their complex frozen forms to water, refreshing the sandy soil of this corner of the North European Plain. The route to the airport revealed patches of communal land suddenly and unseasonably in the possession of a succession of snowmen, hastily built by children’s’ hands and adorned with twigs and carrots and stony eyes.
In a little over an hour flight BA847 will charge down the runway here at Warsaw: Frederick Chopin International Airport and convey me across this continent to London Heathrow. The white wine in the lounge is excellent, the Polish and Canadian voices which I can hear nearby are endearing. I have been upgraded. I should be happy.
To my love, I was positivity itself this morning, but this was an act, a white lie intended to lubricate an easier, less emotional parting. She knew it too, saw through it. Of course she did. For four years, she has seen the same charade in action, come to understand and play along with this reflexive defence mechanism. Neither of us wants tears or drama or self-possession. It achieves nothing, does not bring us back together any quicker.
But that does not mean that she wanted me to leave or that she does not will my return. That two was clear, explicit, if articulated without drama. She has tolerated four years of this, has had enough.
Chopin International Airport, despite being named after a musician whose nocturnes are supremely evocative, is as blandly functional a place as it is possible to conceive. And yet, somehow, in the repression of emotion, the enforced jollity, the prolonged kisses and squeezed hugs, this place cannot fully suppress the humanity of emotion, the exquisite sorrow of parting.
My flight has landed, is gliding along the apron past the window towards its allocated parking spot. That familiar British Airways livery, which can evoke in me such joy when viewed from the Departure lounge in Riyadh, today evokes nothing like so clear an emotion.