My toothbrush sits in a plastic case with a smiley face on it in a Sydney hotel. I will never see it again. At 6pm tonight I had a flight booked to leave for Melbourne tomorrow. At 6:13pm I had changed it to a flight to leave tonight. I’m in a cab right now trying to process my bold decision to all of a sudden abandon my friends, my Sydney Festival ticket and my beloved toothbrush case.
You see, a month ago I left a woman I care about in Melbourne to travel the world doing stand-up. We hadn’t been seeing each other that long. It felt good though. It was the first time I had been so comfortable with someone I felt I didn’t have to change anything about myself. In the past I’ve been with people that made me feel odd or even guilty for my personally. With her, all I feel is happy.
While keeping in touch via the wonders of a cheap South Asian SIM card, I still felt close to her. I smiled through the screen while in Siem Reap and receive a picture of her drinking orange juice at Christmas. I’d call just to hear about her day and I cared about how it was. The distance was tough but we connected.
For the last week of my trip I’ve been in Sydney. I performed a couple of gigs but mainly came to support my friends in their debut Sydney Festival show, Band of Magician. I wrote parts of the show and consulted the guys here and there. Two of my best friends are performing in it and I was keen to be there for them as they have for me. All week they have been flat out with rehearsal and promo. I’ve pitched in where I can but mostly I’ve been ready to see their opening night so I can head back home to Melbourne.
In the past few days communication with the aforementioned woman became distant. We were calling and messaging the same amount and saying the same things but for some reason the words felt vacant. Four weeks of strong feelings all of a sudden didn’t feel so certain and I sensed we shared this sentiment when I called her tonight. “I feel different” we agreed. In the end, we decided we’d meet up tomorrow but not make any promises. The call ended at 6:00pm. At 6:01 I was on the phone to Virgin Australia telling them to change my flight to tonight. I wasn’t thinking. I was acting on impulse. I don’t know what Chrissy at Virgin, who took my call, heard in my voice but she waved the flight change fee. It’s a shame you can’t hug someone over the phone… if you could, I probably wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. Rushing back into the theatre I told the boys I would be leaving before the show started. They understood.
I consider myself a rational person. At first I wondered if this decision was me being more emotional than rational. Maybe it’s both. I don’t want to feel that I could have done more for the relationship, so the most rational decision I could make is to do everything I can.
Back at the hotel I threw everything around my suitcase into my suitcase, called a cab and got out of there. I forgot my toothbrush. Right now I’m about to be dropped off at the terminal to run to my flight. She knows I’m coming. I messaged and she called straight away. She says she can’t promise that she’ll meet me when I get back.
So I don’t know what lies ahead of me in Melbourne. All I know is that I’m doing everything I should be doing and that brings me my only sense of calm. It’s going to be a long flight.