I have to move, and I don’t want to.

My job is 50 miles away. I spend 30% of my monthly take-home on gas. 35% on rent. I’ve been living on borrowed time, exhausted, getting nothing done, unrealized in so many ways. (And what an odd thought, that “unrealized” bit. Like I’ve suddenly become semi-transparent, and with the right amount of will, you could reach right through me. Something from Dune, or Star Trek.) Out of phase. I can’t go on like this.

There’s a low-income house coming open up there, on the coast. Rent is based on income, which is a valuable thing in this uncertain economy. There are services for Daughter, who has needs. Public transport, and a co-op, and the college which is a fountain of what I suppose is called “culture” – concerts and exhibits and lectures and people who go to concerts and exhibits and lectures. A different medical group – maybe they won’t be as intent on making me feel handicapped, and let me live my life. So many good, good things. And it’s only 50 miles away, and I could come back and visit whenever I like. This has been the plan for the last year.

I’ve lived where I am for 15 years. I have friends, not many, a few, some I can even open up and wander off on my long trails of enthusiasms on. The town is built on a swamp. Most of the local industry is drying up so fast you can hear the cracks bursting open. Like I said, the medical establishment is corporate-driven, and doesn’t really give the individual any sway room.

But the birds are back, and singing. The little creek is thawing, and we never walked down it from here to the lake, like I promised Daughter every year for the past 6 years. It would be an hour and a half to the lake we swim at, rather than the 25 minutes it takes now. My neighbor, the secretary at the school, has known us for 15 years, since Daughter signed up for kindergarten. In a few minutes I’ll be walking to the post office, past the little houses and the bar and the drainage ditch and the shaggy old pines, and the ladies will see me come in and get my packages ready for me, if there are any.

All I want out of life is to stay here, and be quiet, and watch the moon rise and the sun shine and the clouds and the geese go overhead, and wait for the apple tree to bloom and shed and ripen and fall – this year will be a slight year – the tree is an old-fashioned kind, producing heavily every other year. Waiting for the parking lot to turn to mud in the spring, waiting for the ground to thaw. The crunchy dry of the shed pine needles underfoot. Looking for the three-legged doe to come in again. Seeing if the streets will flood this year. I don’t own a house, I probably never will again. I don’t have a home, I haven’t for a long time. All I really have is this perch, here on the edge of nowhere.

And now I think I have to move.

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