I have an essay in the latest issue of Redivider, out this week.
It’s about relocating from Minnesota to California, about being a serial mover, but also about moving on.
Here’s a little snippet of “Dog Days of Winter.”
Only then, sitting there on the floor, waiting for the thumping in my chest to subside, did the light finally flicker on: my goodbyes were catching up to me.
I’d come down with a flu, lost my voice. In the last couple of weeks I’d had lunch or drinks or dinner with this friend or that — neighbors, tennis partners, college peers, book club — for my big send-off to the west coast. No matter what we said, all good intentions and kind words aside, I knew, even as I offered my last hug and wave, I’d never see most of them again. These farewell tours were exhausting. I envied my brothers and my family – those who’d never left the place of their birth – in this. What would it be like, I wondered, to forever be surrounded by the people you liked or loved? To never even change your zip code? To return, time and again, to the house you grew up in, park in the same spot, sit in the same chair, talk about the same old things? In a more practical sense, what would it be like to see the same doctor or dentist, year over year? To pay taxes in the same state every April 15? To send your children to the school you went to.
Sitting there, voiceless, on the closet floor with my dog, I realized I couldn’t even bring myself to go see Ned, my homeopathic doctor, who would surely have had some simple remedy to soothe my throat and help me regain my lost voice. No, I couldn’t even see Ned. I was that tapped out. I could not bear to say goodbye to one more person.
How do you feel when you move on?