Drabble 176 – Vemod

A faded polaroid photo of a roller coaster passing in front of a ferris wheel.

I think a lot about the past. I suspect that most people do, even in that idle kind of way where we don’t really realize that we’re doing it. Thinking about something I liked in high school leads me to think about the people I liked that thing with, and then I wonder where they are now, if they ever do the same thing. How did we get to where we are now? Was there a single moment, or a series of small choices?

Sometimes I’m sad about this disconnect. I blame myself or wonder if I’ve left their minds with an ease that I can’t even fathom. But then I think about now, about how much warmer my life is, about how sometimes I can go an entire day without thinking I’ve screwed my whole life and the lives of everyone around me up, and, sad or no, I understand that this is better.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

VEMOD

(n.) from Middle Low German ve for “woe” and mod for “mood.”

Tender sadness with the understanding that something emotionally significant has ended.

She should feel sad. Everyone else does; they’re crying, hugging, expressions flitting between elation at the promise of freedom and sadness at the realization that it’s time to move on.

She removes her cap and tucks it under one arm, forcing her smile into a placid expression. She should feel sad, but what she feels instead is some kind of wistfulness, a curiosity, a relief at the knowledge that who she was five minutes ago is different from the person she’ll be five minutes from now. She feels nothing but potential, an actor rather than clay waiting to be shaped.

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