December 26, 2004

too far

When I woke up this morning at 5:40 to the insistent chirrup of a tiny alarm clock in the guest room, I wondered if my mother was already gone. But no, she was just in the living room, preparing to leave. She and I reached the guest room and the off switch at the same time. Time for a (very) early morning hug, the last hug, the hug to last. Right now, as I write, she's on a plane somewhere over North America. It's probably past sunset there even though it's still light here. Right now, as you read, she's probably already landed. Already home. Her home, not mine. Four thousand miles away, give or take. Too far.

When Dan and I first moved out here, we were in our twenties. Distance seemed easy. Hop on a plane every year, wave to the folks back home, settle in your new abode. When you're in your twenties, just out of college, your sense of place is like everything else in your life: fluid and still unknown. And maybe, too, it's nice to be far from family. You can redefine yourself without them. It becomes a way of staking out your own turf, literally as well as emotionally. But I'm not in my twenties. And I don't like this. Not at all. I want community. Community can mean close friends, of course it can. But that's been hard in this city too, a discussion for another time. I do, finally, have people I care about here, though it took forever and a day. But it's still not the same. Nobody here changed my diaper, you know? Nobody knows what my family's apartment on the Upper West Side looked like except from my second hand descriptions. Nobody knew me the first time I fell in love, or helped me pick up the pieces the first time a boy broke my heart. Dan and Damian are my only family here, unless you count a few step uncles and second cousins once removed who we hardly ever see; even though we like them, we're not entangled in each other's lives.

I miss family. I miss a true sense of community and connection and that intimate knowledge of each other. I donít long to move back to New York the way I did, but I do want to move east. Move closer. Be a car ride away instead of a long plane flight.

I miss my mom. I'm glad we got that last hug in, though. One more for the road.

Posted by Tamar at December 26, 2004 03:31 PM