Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Finding Things to Miss

Greetings, greetings. It’s been a while since I posted on Skipping Town—I’ve been writing regular posts on my new Sacramento blog, Desperately Seeking Sacramento (http://saclights.com/blog/MargoOL), but have neglected to stay up to date here.

Part of the reason is that there hasn’t been too much to report these days. Andrew and I are finally settled into our possession-filled home; the last box has long been unpacked, our books are on the shelves, and we’re relishing the convenience of having pretty much every kind of kitchen utensil and appliance known to mankind. Though we blow a fuse anytime we microwave anything for longer than three minutes, for the most part our home life is functioning smoothly.

We’re about four months into married life now; and it’s getting better every day. Of course I always appreciated the charms and humor Andrew brought to my life…but now I’m starting to appreciate his value as A Husband. That oil problem the mechanic told us about two months ago? I forgot about it entirely; Andrew’s been checking under the car consistently, keeping tabs. Husband-ly things like that.

Believe it or not, we’ve been West Coasters for almost eight months—that seems incredible to me, but there we are. The time is going fast, especially now that we have some weekend trips lined up on the horizon and some visitors to plan for. Sacramento is no longer hideous, but sometimes it strikes me that once we do leave here, chances are pretty good that we’ll probably never come back. I don’t mean that in any kind of dramatic, denouncing way—just that this is a temporary place, one that we probably won’t miss very much once we’re on to the next adventure. It will be one of those strange parts of our history, like the fact that I used to be a waitress in a cowboy hat or that Andrew once skipped town for Costa Rica or—assuming that this will, one day, become history—that Andrew once wore a multitude of critter-emblazoned pants. Not a defining or life-altering event, like meeting each other or moving to Spain; just something that happened along the way.

We were in New York a few weeks ago for a couple of days (Andrew had a business trip, and I tagged along) and though it felt strange for me to be there without any kind of purpose—no errands to run, no real destinations to go to—at the same time it felt so familiar and comfortable to wander around the Met, squeeze among strangers on the subway, pay $6.50 for a beer. It was bitter cold in New York and California seemed very far away.

But we’re here now, and life is taking on a comfortable normalcy. It’s pretty much spring, with temperatures hovering around 70 and abundant sunshine. We go to the gym to make up for no longer walking anyplace; we watch movies from Netflix; we cook things; we plan our next trips. Nonetheless, sometimes when I think about Barcelona I get a visceral feeling of sadness, remembering our terrace and long walks down La Rambla—in a strange way I miss it more than I missed New York when I left, perhaps because I’ve always been aware that New York will be there whenever we’re able to go back. Barcelona was something else, a stolen, lucky time that stands out as somehow crystalline. We can go back there, too, of course, but it won’t be the same.

Who knows: maybe one day we’ll feel this way about Sacramento—that living here was, after all, a transformative experience. Until then, we’ll just keep on as we are, trying our best to find things to miss.

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