Tonight, with two days before the passage of a lifetime, I want to commemorate my youth with words painted across the dappled pink sky, the fingertips of God weaving endlessly.

The signs and lights, thousands, sparkle and heave with restless anticipation, another night of possibility, another night of desperation, of summer’s endless pressure.

In the distance, a couple is separating.

In the distance, love is being kindled.

In the distance, another is being born and still another is dying.

Tonight, part of me is dying, my youth will evaporate like the vapors from the airplane on the hot runway.

Tonight, a shed a solitary tear for that youth that has given way to a restless maturity, an acceptance, a painful understanding of life and my place in it.

My place is not here.

It will never be here again.

In the distance my friend is sleeping.

In the distance, my lady is saying goodbye to friends.

In this room, I sit and wait and release the possibility of the last two days, knowing full well that it is already over. Time moves quicker the more one is aware of it and tonight I am hyperaware.

Two days. How did all those days dwindle to the last two?

How can I leave you, when you are so near?

How can I remove you when you are everywhere? So near to my head, so ingrained in my heart, so very much.

I will call to the air and wonder what has become of you.

I will sigh in the evening as the sun settles beneath the horizon, knowing it is rising on you.

I will forever be in contrast with you, juxtaposed against your time zone, your hemisphere.

Ages and ages have come and gone and I never thought it would be me leaving.

I reach for the phone to call but all are gone. Those that remain cannot understand, this prison of absolute experience. I and my lady carry it with us like gifts for the baby Jesus, like crosses of salvation, like the baggage of the heart that only love can create.

Love has brought me to this point and love will see me through this valley.

My bright and burning star, how can I leave you?

My lazy Sundays will be spent in another town, another city, with other people.

I will always have you, but I may never have you again.

You will linger in thoughts like a ghost, like an apparition, like an illusion, a cruel joke.

You have touched me so deeply.

You have filled my soul like a well.

Eight years is a lifetime.

Two days is not enough
For one tearful, heartfelt goodbye.

One last embrace.

One more memory.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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