Next month, Kate and I are leaving the country. Specifically, we are moving to Doha, Qatar. I have been struggling in vain this week to compose an entry full of flowery, rambling prose to describe how I feel about this, but words fail me.
I am beyond excited; I live for adventure, and you cannot tell me this isn’t an adventure.
I am beyond scared; I’ve never left the mainland US before. What kind of foreign-culture-language-shock is waiting for me in the Persian Gulf?
And I’m a little sad; over the past four years, I’ve built up a life, with good in-person friends, Monkeys with Typewriters—a support group for those afflicted with active imaginations, and Nicole—our roommate who only moved in this past September, yet is someone I can’t imagine not having around.
Since Kate and I got together for good in 2004, we’ve moved three times; but with her, I’m always home. And in a month, we’ll be physically overseas. And we’ll be home.
A whole new world is out there for us to explore, and I, for one, can’t wait.
I don’t want to get shot dead, at random, in a parking lot, or at a movie theater, or in church, or in a mall, or at a school, or anywhere for that matter, by someone who just wants to shoot bullets at a lot of people for reasons that have nothing at all to do with me. Off the top of my head, I can think of more than two dozen people who felt this EXACT way when they woke up this morning.
And the funny thing is, it doesn’t matter whether or not I’m a gun owner*, or whether or not I have a concealed-carry permit** what my stance is on gun control***; if a mass shooter decides to open fire on a place where I happen to be, it means that he or she acquired a gun and used it. It doesn’t matter how it was acquired, or what the laws were. It just means that someone got a gun and fired it a lot.
This scares the shit out of me.
* I am.
** I do.
*** I’m not telling.
I dreamed the ideal college/teen movie the other day. Well, maybe not ideal—the pretty, most popular girl in school made friends with the sensitive, nerdy boy without hiding it from her peers in order to preserve her social status. And her peers were cool with it. And the nerdy boy didn’t fall in love with the popular girl. So maybe that’s not right.
However, all of the characters had to pool their individual, surprisingly useful talents with the cool, rebellious professor (nailed that one) to save a historic, nostalgic building that the unfeeling, corporate board of directors wanted to tear down for “progress.” So I guess the subconscious brain got that right.
Also there was a wacky moment that involved hiding in a cupboard … I’m sure marijuana was involved in that. So I guess the subconscious brain got that right too.
Clearly Nerdy Boy is based on me, the evidence being that he’d spent some time doing amateur IT work on Popular Girl’s computer, joked with her about blackmail, and, on his way out the door, told her, “I’ll be back with an anonymous typewritten letter and some demands.”
Alas, my brain promptly forgot most of it upon awakening, as brains tend to do.
I was strolling along on the sidewalk, minding my own business, when, suddenly, an onion. A red onion rolled down the hill. An onion with no apparent origin, for I alone stood on the entire length of the sidewalk.
Was this a celestial onion? An onion of the gods? Was the onion passing through my story, or was I passing through the onion’s? So many questions. So many tears (because onions make you cry, see?).
This morning, I’d been showing my roommate a newspaper from Christmas Day, 1998, and at some point, I realized that a day that, to me, was one from just a few years back was actually her thirteenth birthday.
My niece was two years from being born, while two of my dearest friends in the world then had a two-year-old daughter. The former spends her time making swords and fashion accessories out of duct tape, and the latter is an incredible young lady with graduation over the horizon. I’m sure to my parents, I’d left for college just a few months ago.
This isn’t one of those “I feel old” posts, but rather just a way of reflecting how time passes differently, depending on what fraction of your life it is. For my roommate, it’s half, for my niece it’s just over 115 percent. For me, it’s only a third of it.