Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Looking Back

It's been a month of big changes, the first of which was that, after eight years in my little rented shack on Horton Street, aka "The Manor," I finally moved. The new place is a palace in comparison, with such luxuries as central air, ceiling fans, an extra bedroom where I can make music with the benefit of natural light, and ample counter top space for Kirsten to cook us all fantastic dinners. And there's more room so that Kirsten, Claire, Tobias, Lucy and I can stretch our legs a bit.

The Manor had its charms. Its simplicity was a virtue, a constant reminder, to me at least, not to get too comfortable and that a house isn't an end in itself but a shell in which to make things like love and family and art. The house offered little relief from the heat and the walls were thin so it always felt a bit like camping, which suited me.

Still, the place was a little cruddy and, more importantly, had too much mixed up history in it. I stayed there longer than any other one place in my life, including my childhood homes, and during that course I had eight different roommates. There was Mikey, Charlie, Courtney, Max - who ushered in The Manor's finest era - Timbo, Chris, Kirsten and, of course, Claire. Plus all of the girlfriends of those guys. That's a lot of people, a lot of living, a lot of stories, a lot of changes in perception that happened while I was there.

During my last visit, after hauling all the junk I wasn't going to keep to the curb, I took a minute to stand in the empty living room area and stare at the bare wood floors and walls. I wanted some nostalgia, some tingles. I had a vivid memory of Claire rolling around all over the place in her walker, and of Keith sleeping on his back all stocky like the furry tubesteak that he was - but beyond that, I couldn't summon anything beyond a smeared feeling. Instead I just felt certain that I had stayed in that place too long. It was time for a fresh start.

I've never had much of a sentimental gene. I mean, I'll be the first guy to well up at the movies, and I've got a major sissy poet streak, but when it comes to looking back I'm not much for it. For good or bad, I'm very much an "in the moment" kind of guy. I don't reminisce, I feel uncomfortable when tangential acquaintances from 10 years ago contact me on Facebook, I have a lousy memory and an even lousier ability to visualize my goals: I'm not much of a planner. That's the bad side. The good side is that I'm adaptable, comfortable with change and couldn't hold a grudge if I wanted to.

I think that Claire got my "now" gene. She started Kindergarten this morning and it went off without a hitch. She had expressed some concern about meeting new friends, but when it came time for her mom and I to leave her with her new class and teacher, she hugged each of us, made a quick wave and turned away. She is one emotionally healthy, happy and excited child. If those of you out there looking in think that Claire seems like she'd be hilarious and elevating to be around, all I can say is you have no idea.

1 comment:

Marie Lasferatu said...

I had my own moving adventure this past week. I hate moving, but I don't miss any of my old houses either. I'm still waiting to make my ultimate out-of-michigan move though...