Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Next Time I See You, You'll Be Postered to the Door

Before leaving on my recent travels, I was hanging out with some friends who are sadly moving from New York City. I am right now watching lightning bugs in Arkansas (and forcibly baseball) with some friends who also moved from New York City. During my recent visit to the California desert, I ran into a door at a bar and a poster on the door featured a friend of mine from eighth grade, when I lived in Louisiana. (She's a singer and is going to be performing next weekend.) After reading from my book in Pasadena, I caught up with my sandbox buddy from when my family lived in Sicily; I hadn't seen him in twenty years.

My family moved pretty much every two years while I was growing up. Right before a big move, from Nebraska to Belgium, a teacher once told me that I shouldn't be bothered by having to move because it would mean that I would have more friends, not less. I know it's schmaltzy, but I guess it was something that I always thought about every time my family had to move, that there would be more of something. 

New York City has been my home for the past ten years and now it's my turn to watch people come and go. I can't tell you what a weird feeling it is for me to be the one who stays behind; I was the one who was always leaving. My Arkansas friends make books and tonight the old man and I were telling them how we like to help. The old man is good at poking holes and I like collating myself, so it turns out that we're a regular help factory. I caught myself feeling as though these people had never left, that hardly any time had passed at all, that we could have easily been hanging out in one of our living rooms anywhere. Yet they have a baby on the way and so much future to think about. When I return to New York, I'll have to work on saying good-bye to the other ones who are leaving. It's so hard to know what to say. The city will feel so empty.


Ross Brighton said...

Wow. I have to say your book is beautiful. And when I have money, I'll come visit (though being unemployed doesn't help such thoughts - the post seems so sad I felt I had to say such)

Sommer said...

These leaving people make me sad too.