With a little over a month left til I pack up my things and move across the country, a few things are bound to happen.
One: I will freak out about my general life goals and plans/lack thereof.
Two: I will panic about the size of my book and sweater collections.
Three (you guessed it): I will meet a guy I actually like.
Done. Done. And, done.
In many, perhaps most parts of my life–dry-cleaning, hair maintenance, grading my students’ papers in a timely fashion–I am horribly inconsistent.
But when it comes to this, you can count on me like a Carmelo clutch shot: each time I move, I meet someone who lives distinctly not in the place I’m moving to.
And not just someone. Usually, it’s someone pretty special: a not-terribly-flaky, non-alcoholic, decently-mannered-and-yet-somehow-also-physically-attractive guy who seems to have mutual-like feelings.
Every. Single. Time.
Which, technically, means twice–before now.
The first, of course, was M: a graphic design student who I met on a bus from DC to NY six weeks before I left for Brooklyn. We spent the next month involved casually and the next three years intensely–in a mostly-platonic long distance friendship during which I nursed epic, misguided daydreams about him being my husband. (You may recall reading about them.)
Then, in New York–months before moving to New Mexico–I met Z: a handsome labor lawyer who responded to my Missed Connections post on Craiglist after we eyed each other on a Brooklyn-bound F. I worried that he was too nice before falling as hard as I ever have for anyone, proposing that we try long distance, and almost deciding to go to school in North Carolina so that we could be closer. (A few months later, I–publicly–concluded the chemistry was never that great.)
And now, here I am, having just started seeing someone really damn cool. (And with whom things are very, very new, and about whom, under normal circumstances–non-I’m moving in six weeks circumstances–I would never write so soon.)
But, as it happens, I am moving. And I’m exhausted. And vaguely contemplating how the hell to get all my shit from one side of America to the other while expending my actual energy putting off that pesky grading and all the other life maintenance shit I’ve spent the past dissertation-year neglecting.
All to say: I’m too tired to censor myself.
“Probably, it’s a terrible idea,” I said to my friend J the other night over plates of Thai food.
She nodded. “It might be.”
Moments earlier she had been describing her own imminent departure–one she isn’t sure is permanent–and while she talked I’d fantasized about being miserably unhappy in Brooklyn.
“I mean, it’s just gonna make it harder for me to leave,” I said. “Ugh. I shouldn’t get attached.”
“Maybe not,” she replied. “But…I dunno. It might be kinda nice…and fun…” She tilted her head from right to left.
“Yeah…” I said, spooning some more curry onto my plate.
Needless to say, when I got back in my car and saw a text from Guy In Question, I responded immediately: without a second’s hesitation. Who am I kidding? There is no part of me capable of resisting a quick and exciting chemistry. Not a single, mother-effing part.
And, after all, I’m not alone in my habit: as another friend put it in a recent email, meeting someone before you move is “in the moving rule book.”
“You have to meet the perfect guy before you go,” she wrote. “And then you have to have a long distance romance with him where he flies in for weekends and vice versa, he ends up moving here, and then you break up because, you’re both like, meh… Just kidding. But not really.”
It’s a cute (and often, true) thought. But of course, I don’t have to do any of those things. At this moment, I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to think about my books or my career or the fact I might be foolishly falling for someone I (maybe, possibly) shouldn’t. Again.
At least, not yet. What can I say? It’s what I–perhaps, what we–do.