MEMOIR

The Day a Philosopher Taught Me How To Live

A lesson in impermanence that took me almost 20 years to understand

Elizabeth Dawber
The Memoirist
Published in
8 min readJul 9, 2023

--

Image source: Vecteezy

The smell of freshly brewed coffee and warm pastries greets me as I step inside the cafe. It’s a Tuesday afternoon but every table is occupied, and a cloud of dialogue floats in the air, punctuated by the clink of cutlery. I look around, not for a face, but for a sign.

The person I’m meeting is K. Just K. I don’t know whether this is his nickname or the first letter of his first name or both or neither. We’re both part of an online group for students studying arts and humanities subjects. A group that once totaled over 300 members but now consists of just us. Everyone else promptly disappeared from the group and campus as soon as exams were over.

But I stayed. I don’t know why. For the last three years, I’ve been perpetually homesick, yet now I’m free to return home, I feel paralyzed.

“Are you in the queue?” A woman says, tapping me on the shoulder.

“Umm, no.” I let her pass by. I want to find K before I buy a drink.

I walk around the cafe, weaving in and out of the tables, not finding what I’m looking for. I take the stairs to the upper floor. It’s quieter up here. There’s a guy sitting alone…

--

--

Elizabeth Dawber
The Memoirist

English literature & creative writing grad | MWC semi-finalist | Former editor @ The Startup | I write about this thing called life | Human | Pen for hire |🇬🇧