In other languages, goodbye is not the mournful sorrow. Goodbye is coupled with hello.. after all, you can't say goodbye to one thing without saying hello to something else. Hebrew expresses this perfectly with the word "shalom," and in Hawaii, they say "aloha." Beautiful words that express the significance of saying goodbye. It's an end of a chapter, a beginning of a new one.
I'm writing this at 11:05 a.m. on the day that our entries are due. My procrastination days ended a long time ago, and those who have me on their friends list will know I don't have a problem with writing about... pretty much anything. My problem was, specifically, what to write about.
Do I conjure a story from my past? Saying goodbye to my grandparents, and beginning a life without them? Saying goodbye to Gainesville, Florida to move back to my hometown of Tallahassee? Should I say goodbye to my optimism? My naivete? My bleeding heart liberal views that get more and more crushed every day?
None of the above. I don't feel like being deep.
I was a god of roly polies. During the summer of '92 I had all the power over their domain. I decided whether they were picked up and held, hoping that their little feet would move across my hand, or whether I wanted to scare them and have them roll up into their little black shell of armor so I could bounce them around from hand to hand. Their fate was quite literally in my hands as I decided which action to take next. Of course I didn't intend on murder, but at 7 years old, I hope no one does.
When my mother refused the idea of a hamster and I wasn't allowed to get the sickly-looking goldfish at the fair, I, the Queen of Roly Polies, realized that I too could have pets. And cages! Why else would my mother keep egg cartons around? I lined my pets' new cage with dirt and grass, poked a few holes in the top, set my new pets on my desk and went to bed.
In the morning my fateful subjects were not moving, and had turned white. "Well, that's odd." The next day I did the same thing, making sure to poke more holes, put in more grass and dirt, and leaving the egg carton on my desk overnight.
In the morning I had little white balls in a mound of dirt in that egg carton. So that day, I did it again. And the next morning, again. I'm not sure exactly how many times I captured my new pets, but it was way up there, I'm sure. And I'd have so many at a time, so they'd have friends. And yet every morning, they were listlessly dead.
One day there were no more roly polies in my yard. Not in my best friend's yard, who had so bravely helped me, even if she didn't like the tickle of their feet as I had. There were no roly polies at the park, either. It settled into me that I had killed them all, and little white balls were all that were left.
At the time, I didn't think about things like roly poly season being over, and he next summer I had moved on to bigger things, like Totally Hair Barbie.
Many years later, I mentioned quite innocently that I had killed all the roly polies, hoping someone would say that they had seen one recently. Hoping that they had moved on to a different part of the country. They were allowed to hate me, but I would feel better knowing that my realm of roly polies were okay. No one mentioned seeing roly polies that day, or any subsequent day.
I still haven't seen a roly poly since that summer. I like to rationalize my behavior and think that the food chain still works, so it can't have been THAT bad. Or sometimes I pretend that roly polies still exist, and that my eyesight is too poor, or I am now standing taller above the ground and can't see them. Maybe roly polies are imaginary characters that you can't see after the age of seven. Or maybe I really did make their population extinct.