on love and leaving


I’m not sure why I associate the two.  Actually I am, I just default to saying that because it’s easy.  I like to move when my heart is broken, but I’ve also left when it’s not.  Sometimes by my own admission, sometimes because it was just the way things were going that year.  I do have a home.  I didn’t realize it (more like admit to myself) until over christmas this past year.  We’d moved so much when I was a kid and I moved a few times during college that I forgot how long my mom had kept still.

Sitting at the kitchen table, worn down and holding on.  Just looking around.  Remembering raiding the pantry for food, friends coming and going after school.  Fighting, loving, talking.  Just lost in thought.  She said to me, “Nothing ever changes here does it?”.  That crack in the wall above the pantry was still there.  Same size, same shape.  Every dish arranged.  I’d stared at it a million times in a thousand different ways.  It was the same.  Except now the siding on the house is worn out, the trees cleared in the back.  The barns get older.  Time slowly wearing it all down.

But there was my kitchen table and there was my mom.  And there was my food and there was the floor I’d walked on.  It’s not mine, or hers.  But it’s ours while we’re there.  One day when I have the money I’ll buy the house.  Until then it’s my home.  

When I worked during school I would wake up early to have coffee with my mom on weekends.  We rarely had time to sit down and talk, but we tried anyways.  I still miss it.  10 am on Sundays (I always told my job I went to church and couldn’t work until the afternoons).  We stopped actually going to church years before on Easter Eve.  I had already threw a fit and quit sunday school the year before that.  My mom still insisted we go to church on Sunday mornings (being the ‘good’ Roman Catholics that we were), which slowly moved to Saturday evening when she started dating again, which moved to never again after a 3 hour marathon of blessing everything in god’s creation while holding cheap candles set in paper cups with a hole poked in the bottom.  

Organized religion is so weird sometimes.  

I’m going to be leaving my residence in a month or so and I realized it’s been a while since I moved last.  Quite possibly I’ve spent more time here than anywhere else in my life.  For the first time I’ve felt a twinge of nervous.  Not too much though.  But enough to make me second guess myself and enough to make it hard to keep trying.

But I’m tired of this town, I don’t know the people and it reminds me that I’ve been sad for quite a while.  There’s nothing to do, nothing to see and I’m bored beyond what I am capable of handling.

I’m fighting with my sisters which wears me down endlessly.  I’m currently trying to convince one not to get married and the other that $80 a week for groceries is not overspending because even milk and bread are expensive.  No one takes advice when they need it, but sometimes they remember it later.  And I’m the oldest….so I have to.

At least I’m getting all my federal taxes back in a refund this year!  Plus the $600 “Sorry we’ve been fucking you” poor people stimulus package bonus prize.  Which makes me feel really secure about the future of the economy.  No one has gotten anything worthwhile since that other shitty poor people tax stimulus package that bought off the country through a terrorist attack, two wars and a hurricane.  Now all of a sudden they’re handing out money again?  How much worse is it going to get exactly?

In the meanwhile I now have enough to buy a dress I may or may not wear in a color and style that is not appropriate for anything other than a wedding I don’t want to go to.  And I’ll also have enough leftover to get myself out of this stagnant town.  If I could afford it I would donate it all to MoveOn.org out of spite.  It feels a little like blood money to me.  But isn’t it all I guess?

My best friend wrote me an email the other day freaking out about owing money in on her taxes this year.  Her day culminated with verbally berating a homeless guy about the shitty state of the country while pumping gas at $3.25 a gallon.  Very, very unlike her.  But things have been strange lately.  

I did buy myself a little red dress the other weekend because I haven’t had something nice in a while and it’s almost my birthday 🙂  For christmas I got a record collection and a breakup.  New Years I was scrubbing down the walls and bemoaning the loss of my cable tv.  Valentines day I got a small salvation army couch from a friend and lent out my Eddie Izzard collection.  I quit smoking (2 ½ months now!) and have job opportunities lining up.  It seems as if I’ve been living some sort of life.  Hmm… interesting.

I thought it would be different.

I’ve already sifted through all my memories and paperwork.  Everything is sitting here waiting to leave in boxes and I have this knot inside of my stomach that’s slowly growing.  Every time the future seems about right something changes.  So far I’ve been keeping up, but one wrong bump and it could all go tumbling again.  I’d pick up the pieces of course, but it’d be nice to skip that part for once.  I’m getting tired of chasing a dangling carrot and building character.  Actual results would be nice.

But I’m impatient, or I guess better yet I’m anxious.  Not just about the job and moving but about a lot of things.  I can barely read the news anymore, but I do just because I have this compulsion to check and make sure everything didn’t totally implode while I wasn’t looking.  I blame “9-11 changing everything”.

Every time I leave though I’ve moved up one little step.  One small step closer to the life I wish I had.  Better apartment, better town, better school, better job, better me.  I’ve left some things behind, but try not to burn bridges unless I have to.  I’ve gotten used to having my past call me up later and apologize.  Lucky me.  I’m amazing when I’m gone.

This time though I’m hoping to stick around where I’m going.  I really like the view so far and I can’t just wonder around forever…. Yeah, maybe this time.


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  1. That way I’ll know how it all turns out and the weather will be warmer….

    • DWG on February 28, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    I have always hated that bromide.  Here is hoping that you settle in the right place and the pieces of your life fall into place.  

    • RiaD on February 28, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    there’s always flutter-byes on leaving… the newness & unknown is always apprehensive… but it’ll be just fine…

    • brobin on February 28, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Thats what always happened to me, anyway  😉

    I’m happy to say that the new view was almost always worth it and I could have saved the money on the Rolaids.  

    Good luck with your new adventure VC.

  2. You decide.  No one else.  If you decide that home is where you’ve been living, then that is home.  If you decide it’s where you’ll be moving, then that is home.  So if you choose, you can decide that you’re moving home rather than away from it.  You don’t lose the memories of where you have lived.  The good and the bad.  But you can choose to make a new place into yours.

    It’s up to you.

    And that’s my little bit of unsolicited advice. 😉

    Whatever you decide, hope the move goes well for you!

    • Robyn on February 28, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    …moving was easy:  walk to a highway on-ramp and stick out a thumb.  Since those days, moving has become one of my least favorite things to do in life, right there alongside applying for a new job and interacting with bureaucracy.

    I’ve lived in, I think, 14 different rental units since 1969.  None of them have seemed like something I would call home.  They were rather hostels along the path.

  3. http://www.oldthinkernews.com/

    • OPOL on February 29, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Bob Dylan, in his excellent book, Chronicles relates something his grandmother told him when he was young.  She said for him to be kind to everyone because everyone he ever met would be fighting the battle of their lives.

    There is something so true in that, our lives are so often a struggle either to balance things or to pick up the pieces.

    If I had designed this life it would be far easier and less complicated.  Alas.

    Hang in there VC, things are going to get better for you.  I say that because you’ve shown me the character that predicts it.  You’re developing very nicely as a writer too.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!

    • H2D on February 29, 2008 at 5:40 am

    I really hope things work out for you…

    I did pretty much the same thing last year.  Got tired of just “going through the motions” from one day to the next.  Life where I was got boring, and then messy.  And then even messier…

    I had a great job, but not much else.  So I made a decision, and I just left it all behind.

    I sold most of all that I had, left a few pieces of furniture with family…and I packed my life’s belongings in two bags, and took an Amtrak train from NJ to Oregon.

    And then to California.

    And then back to Oregon.

    And then a couple other places, but eventually back to Oregon again…

    And now here I am.  It took a while, and I had more than a few problems along the way…but everything worked out great in the end.  I finally found my home, and I’m never leaving…

    I hope you find the same.


    Reading through the comments, I guess you’re moving to Boston?

    Beautiful city, and one I have many connections to.

    I never really ‘lived’ in the city I was born in…and I’ve spent much more time there as a tourist than a ‘resident’…but that’s certainly nowhere near the only strange note of my life…

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