In Ithaca N.Y., there’s a stone bridge that goes over the Cascadilla Gorge, leading to Cornell University. There’s a ninety-foot drop between the bridge and the Cascadilla Creek, which empties into Lake Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes.
On the ride up you see nothing for miles. Just land. I close my eyes and try to block it out, the nothingness. I start wondering if I made the right decision by coming up here. Eventually we coast along the Susquehanna River and we’re in the village of Owego, N.Y.
Only an hour left.
We eat lunch in this restaurant that used to be a jail.
I can feel the old souls left behind. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake them.
Around dinnertime we meet my best friend who studies music education at Ithaca College, the reason we drove up here in the first place. We’re on the second level when we hear a voice.
“What are you guys doing down there?”
I look up and see her leaning over the railing on the third floor.
“I don’t have a brochure, this isn’t a travel agency,” she says about her upcoming recital as we walk to the car. I laugh, and it’s the first time I’ve done so and meant it in days.
I keep drifting in and out of the conversation taking place around me during dinner at Mahogany. No one notices, and if they do, they don’t say anything.