Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is It True?

We’re back. After all the packing, all the luggage (ten bags), all the transfers (Barcelona-Zurich-Chicago-Pittsburgh), all the jetlag, we find ourselves once again in the U.S. It was a difficult departure. A packed-up apartment never feels like home; and those last few hours were very sad. We took two cabs to the airport; I made sure Andrew had the talkative driver since I wanted nothing more than perhaps a raised eyebrow in the rearview mirror as I looked out the window and said a silent, teary goodbye to the city rushing past: our street, Passeig de Gracia, Rambla de Catalunya, Placa Espana. It was time to leave, but—even now—it seems impossible that we won’t be going back, climbing up the stairs of 181 Pau Claris and putting our skeleton key into our apartment door.

The moody sadness that seemed inevitable has actually been kept at bay by our wedding. Who knew there could be so many details to take care of? Every element—the invitations, the cake, the centerpieces—require a huge roster of decisions. Planning this is time-consuming, to say the least, which means there’s very little time to think about the very big, otherwise overwhelming things that are happening right now. For example, we’re homeless. Our winter clothes and many of our books are in Jacksonville. Our summer clothes and other books, as well as our sheep’s pelt from Romania and our Moroccan ottoman and sundry other objects, are in Connellsville. I, right now, am in Connellsville; Andrew, as of this morning, is in Jacksonville. We have no mailing address, no home base. The florist, the caterer, everyone asks us where we’re from, and we hem and haw and have no answer.

Secondly, we’re moving to California in six days. It’s almost certain now (though we still don’t have plane tickets). This is a huge move. Not as big as moving to Europe; but big in a different way, since this could turn out to be very long-term. Moving there is full of big undertakings—finding an apartment, buying a car. To my surprise, the prospect of California has grown more attractive now that it’s had a little time to settle in; nonetheless, it’s all too much to think about. Much too much.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of other things to occupy my mind. There was the dress search, for starter’s. I’d looked at piles of bridal magazines and had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted, so I was a more or less decisive bride, dismissing the 50 or so dresses I tried on with relative ease until finally finding the One. There is the quest for the perfect envelope liner for our invitations. There is the quest for the perfect ribbon with which to tie the favors. And on and on. It is definitely fun to plan the big day—but more so now that most of our decisions have been made. And it would be even more fun if I wasn’t trying to make notes and organize papers while squeezing between suitcases, balancing my computer on the rocking chair in the living room, searching for things that have become buried underneath the unwieldy piles that constitute my life at this point. My greatest wishes right now are very simple: clothes in drawers; a broad, empty surface on which to organize and work. What bliss!

Six more days of life on (well, near) the East Coast. Then I’ll be skipping town again.

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