The time has come to relocate–again. For most of my life, relocation has happened with the frequency Others expect to spend attending levels of scholarship: high school, university, graduate school–only repeated to that disappearance point on the horizon. Three years at this address, five years at that, four and then less than one at another. Sometimes the moves have been within the municipal limits of one place or another (three addresses across six years in a Boston outskirt community; three across a dozen years in a tiny city demarcating Alameda County, CA’s northern border) and, more often, between coasts (Pittsburgh to LA, for three; followed by LA to Boston; followed by Boston to LA for a year before heading north to Oakland; some years later, across North America to Nova Scotia).
As we all age, those whom I know shed any shyness about interpreting how my moves are either about them or about my personality being deficient. The very longest of time friends don’t–they have become acclimated to where they themselves are geographically and in no doubt that our relationships outlast any address at which I might be located. It’s the ones I think of as “midlife gold” who seem most concerned with identifying me as fools gold: 20 years of friendship and she leaves [again] replacing their expectation that I go along and get along. Nothing I seem able to say brings our viewpoints closer: at our age, you hit the road again and you’re a bounder, not someone to look forward to returning.
And, for me, that is the sadness: the friends who cannot imagine that I’ll return (as I have demonstrated more frequesntly than any of them). And, given the ages my friends (and I) are getting to see and be, maybe they know somethng (intuitively) that escapes me: that there won’t be time (for them, for me) to get back.
I’m not them and so I press on: the shore–and whatever it is that promises succor from a friend–behind me only for now, with my every expectation of flipping back, through the waves, and seeing their faces clearly again…in a couple, four years.