If bittersweet were an actual taste, who would buy that candy? That caramel mellow finality, the sugary rush of the future, the dental office War Head zap. Candy companies would fall. Ice cream trucks would cease to echo their repetitive jingles through suburban streets. Bittersweet is nothing but an ending, impossible, too soon. Once you taste it, the best you can do is simply move on.
We have the future to look forward to, however bleak or bright or vague it may appear. That’s the problems with endings. They’re never final. You expect that lump to rise in your throat, your fists to clench with the pain of nostalgia. But you drive off the lot and feel nothing. Not until years later will we realize we may not see most of those people ever again. Never sit in plastic-bucket-seats, cracked down the middle, the desks chipped away, the metal bars twisted to form cages against our legs. Even going back to walk across the campus, we won’t belong there. Everything may look the same, but it won’t.
We’ll become the ghosts haunting students of the future. Our memories are imprinted there like footprints on the moon, but for such a place so used to change, we can be swept away like the dead autumn leaves.
So long we’ve complained about how hard it is, how terrible it is, when really we will pine for such easy days when we knew exactly what we were supposed to do. Knew where to go and when by the ring of bells. Everything was certain, concrete, and final. And now we’re left with the task of undertaking a new phase of life. We’re leaping off the cliffs into dangerous waters, waving our arms, hoping we’ve learned how to swim.