Thanks, that was fun…

…It’s not that I don’t like living here… well, OK, it’s that I don’t like living here.

I do like living in this apartment, though. It has a sunroom, which is divided from my bedroom by sliding glass doors, and I will probably never get over thinking that ever so sophisticated. Also, it is on the fourteenth floor, meaning out of any random window I can look out on a gracious expanse of park and pond.

Keyword there being expanse. This is a suburb. In suburbs people have cars, or more frequently family-friendly minvans. They shuttle ’round in them from work, to picking up the kids, to get groceries and maybe a flick at Blockbuster, then home to feed the kids supper and the movie.

I don’t have a car. I don’t even have a license. I get where I’m going mostly on foot. And I am trapped in an area where people look at you really, really funny when you tell them you walked anywhere. Which I can understand, because — parks aside — this area has no walks. The only reason to go anywhere around here is to get there. In your car. Because ‘there’ is, in all probability, a Dollarama.

At the time, I figured the parks would make up for it. Which they do — sort of — right up until you stop on the picturesque little bridge over the creek and notice that dirty limericks have been scrawled all over the runoff tunnel nearby. To live here is to be in total agreement with Linus van Pelt: I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.

Check that — I like my congregation OK. They are kind, sane, sensible people who do not collapse theatrically into my arms after two whole days’ separation. I really needed a break from that, same as I needed one from the commute. It’s been nice, being left alone to organise life on my own terms… if a little unfulfilling. To paraphrase those other great philosophers, the Barenaked Ladies: Pack the car and leave this town/who’d notice that I’m not around?

Thusly I have taken an executive Life Decision: Pack the car — Shoemom’s car — whatever, I don’t want to live here anymore.

Then, having looked around and discovered the universe was still intact, I took a couple more:

–I don’t want to have my job anymore. Something my boss has finally taken care of quite handily by hiring it out from under me, then reassigning me as a departmental ‘floater’ until something more permanent comes up. It’s kind of bemusing how I am reacting to this; one side of me is all  "Way to go, you’ve escaped the rat race, now life can have real meaning!" and the other is going "Oh, dear, oh dear, I’ve given up the challenge, how can life have meaning now?" I figure, worst-to-worst, studying this phenomenon should keep me in grant money for a good while.

–I don’t want to live on the moon… er, seriously, as long as I’m working in the area I need to figure out a reasonable commute. At the same time, though, I find I’m willing to handle some travel, in exchange for a real haven on the back end of it.

And, check it out, Shoemom and -sis have just moved to Burlington! Close to where I wanted to be in the first place, precisely for its haven-esque yet practical carpool-related qualities!

Still suburb-ish, but Shoemom has a car, also a place in the same two-building complex on the lakeshore that she used to manage back in the early ’90’s. A lot of our friends are still in that same congregation. A place I like, have always liked, in that under-the-skin way that a dozen practicalities cannot replicate.

So. I move in across the way when my lease is up in the New Year, Shoemom’s happy, I’m happy… Shoesis, possibly not so happy, but not in much position to do anything about it. We’re planning on not telling her until it’s necessary. For instance, as it happens on closer inspection, there are quite a few admin jobs on offer in that neck of the woods…

This is where the plan stands as of even date. It feels good. It feels honest, adult, thought-through. Like something worth working towards.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the rest of this year. There’s only so many voyages of retail discovery a sane body can take.


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