Backtracking to my post about the Auckland Zoo, I must mention this trip was for penguins. While New Zealand, Northland has so much more than waddling critters, this is why I wanted to visit this beautiful country.
So when we head to Auckland to get swept up by the airport, we decide to make a stop at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter. We come from California—just like these San Diego Zoo penguins—but we don’t get to take a snowcat ride into San Diego enclosures!
“This was definitely worth the pit stop,” my ex says, camera-fetishing.
I enjoy seeing the penguins up close so much, I insist on seeing them again. We get on the snowcat another time. Then we take a tour of the stingrays, sharks, and seahorses, before we head back for a third snowcat cruise.
Once you pay for entry, you can see the penguins as much as you like, they say; and I want to see them more, more, more—
“But we’re on a strict time table,” my ex says, the World of Warcraft jokester.
• • •
After we leave Kelly Tarlton’s, my ex’s epic hunt for New Zealand Magic: the Gathering continues. We locate a small shop mall called the Queen’s Arcade, where the King of Cards is nestled in a den.
He gets his geek on talking up MtG with the store owner and local customers, who are all just as pleasant as everyone else on this trip. As our vacation comes to a close, it only validates my theory that New Zealand’s full of the friendliest kind of people.
• • •
I enjoy some hot cherry blossom tea at a little hole-in-the-wall. They bring out dishes, milk, and other goodies to make the tea an orgasmic experience. I like this. Spending time alone like this. Admittedly, it makes me anxious, but that’s part of the rush.
The wind is wafting gently through Queen’s Arcade doors.
This is a peaceful Auckland.
It’s unlike our arrival.
• • •
And now for the unclimatic ending.
It’s strange how people think that a ten-year relationship should go out in fireworks. People lean towards me, as if asking for more, that ba-boom that rips worlds apart.
But that didn’t happen.
Two weeks after returning home, we sat on the stairwell and—talked a lot. Emotioned even more. We had memories, after all.
Yet lovers don’t cross the world and never kiss.
Lovers don’t sleep on foreign benches without holding hands.
We did this.
• • •
I could not think of a more worldly way, at least, for two friends to discover that they must part.
And I’m not afraid of goodbyes anymore.