Saturday, May 10, 2008

We've Moved!

No, not blogs, but living situations. Instead of teetering on an up-turned milk crate, I'm on two cushions on the hardwood floor of Absurdist Lover's and my apartment. After an uncomfortable hour-and-a half journey during which Mr. Tabby and I figured out that this was his ninth move, Mr. Tabby seems happy. Absurdist Lover got up early and met with the cable guy (amazing, since we got him to come the day after we moved in) and so now we have internet access and everything. My laptop is still fried, but if I can maneuver myself down to and up off of the floor, then I can use Absurdist Lover's computer.

So now instead of living with a lakeview, we have a full shower, cable, and walking distance-access to way too much consumerism. As we were planning and hoping and crossing our fingers for this move (because my credit sucks and I had to get my father to guarantee the thing), I had the distinct feeling that we were moving in the wrong direction. Instead of being further away from Urban Home City, we're now deep in it. As in, can't park on our street because it's too busy at 10pm on a Friday night in it. Over ten years ago, fresh out of college, I left Urban Home City with a sense of triumph. Though I lived in a gorgeous condo in a good neighborhood, at the local coffee house people still talked about working hard for another five, ten, thirty years and then getting the hell out of Urban Home City. But everyone knew that very few people ever get out. And you can't wait until there's a good time or money or ideal conditions. You have to run with your two feet under you and that's it. When my then-husband 's job was relocated to another city 360 miles away when I was twenty-three, I was ecstatic. We were actually going to leave, the same city that since my father emigrated to this country when he was three, he hasn't lived outside of a forty-mile radius, despite his coming home from business trips when I was a kid declaring that we were moving to Louisville, Kentucky or Charlotte, North Carolina. (My mother said no way, sight unseen. I haven't been to Charlotte, but I have been in Louisville and felt a sense of loss when I saw the gorgeous houses that could've been ours for a song instead of the dingy tract houses that cost a bloody fortune -- buying a house in Urban Home City is making a bargain with the devil that you'll work at high-paying jobs that you hate, watch the hours of your life tick away while you're in traffic, and get rid of any pesky remaining longings for authenticity, supporting small local businesses and farms, and a generally non-prepackaged, value-driven life.) And in the twelve years since, I haven't lived in Urban Home City, haven't even thought about moving back here, not even after the divorce. Despite the inevitable questions from family of when I'm going to move back to Urban Home City. Never, I would silently reply.

Similarly, Absurdist Lover got fed up with Urban Home City a few years ago and felt he had to leave, moving his family way up north to a place that I've heard is basically in the middle of nowhere. And though we both talk about getting a farm in Idaho, here we are, back in the thick of Urban Home City and its seductive consumerism: you can have anything right now, if you have the greenbacks to get it.

We are here for the baby. Here is where we have the familial and financial resources to manage our lives right now. Basically, I feel like I'm back in college, getting supported by my father. I'm grateful, because I wasn't doing very well on my own resources in the camper. On the other hand (and obviously I can't say this to him), I feel like I've gone backwards in my life. I've regressed. I'm a PhD and have had a job as an assistant professor in the kind of city that makes people say wow, but now I'm just a pregnant woman trying to make ends meet being supported by her family. Again, I'm grateful. I'm very lucky. On the other hand, I really want to go back to being. . .I don't know. . .a person. A person who doesn't have to beg. A person who is respected as someone who knows what she's doing in a job that she's good at. Of course, I'd also like to be a person who knows what she's doing. Lately, my brain is so clouded that I can barely think through where to put the TV when Absurdist Lover asks. It's bad. People say that pregnant brain is very normal. Great. It doesn't help me make decisions at either of my jobs, get myself reading and writing and generally working my way back to my field, or keep me from getting overwhelmed at basically nothing. But somehow I've got to manage to keep my authentic self and my values in this consumerist bordello. Keep my eye on the ball that reads: get the hell out!

Have I mentioned lately that though Urban Home State is often looked at as a leftist bangladeshgranolahead mecca, both the birth center and the private midwife care at a local hospital have disbanded, a farm I went to didn't know whether pesticides had poisoned their produce, and basically I am having much trouble finding people at all like me around here. It's all too yuppified for words. Of course, no one from anywhere else ever believes me when I say I'm an Urban Home City native. From now on, I'm telling people I'm from the moon. Maybe I'm not really from here -- but from here in the seventies with dark bead macrame, cordoroy jeans, and everyone chanting gongyo trying to find themselves. Now people have just found their bluetooth, their Starbucks (I've been going to Peets in protest), and their inner brats screaming I want, I want, I want. I never thought I'd say this, but I want to go back to Grad City. I've lost my urbanity and want to live in the quiet boonies where I can get some direct sun on my brand new rosemary and sage plants!

All that said, it's very wonderful to be in an apartment instead of a 24-foot camper. Absurdist Lover approves of the shower, as do I. Absurdist Fetus will have a nice place to live when s/he decides to leave the relative safety of my body. (We're exhausted today from yesterday's moving adventures -- and by we, I mean Absurdist Fetus and myself, who is merely the cocoon around AF's transforming body, the fruit around AF's seed.) I'm sure I'm not making sense anymore. Hi everyone!


khora said...

Brava! Keep on riding the wave, my dear.

What Now? said...

Congrats on the apartment! I hope that the stability of a real roof over your head and a real shower makes life feel much more manageable.

Sisyphus said...

Yay, a place to stay!

And it doesn't have to be permanent --- you can still make plans and do job market stuff and move on once you're ready. Consider it base camp and you're resting up for the big climb.

k8 said...

The apartment sounds nice! And I second what sisyphus said - think of it as a place to stay and be comfortable while you make future plans. It's hard to focus on the job market and other issues when you are dealing with instability in your life. Enjoy the comfort of having the apartment and being closer to resources (like family).

Take care!

medieval woman said...

Hee, hee - my friend, L., who's due at the end of May calls this being "Mommy Dumb". You've done what you need to do to give yourself and your new family the best situation possible (i.e., an apartment) - I have no doubt that you'll not get sucked in to all the flash and trash around you - and when you have a better hold on things, you guys can move to that farm in Idaho!

Maude said...

yippee! i can't wait to hear more and more details in a couple of weeks when i get to see you!

AJ said...

Awesome. Revel in that shower. And the weather, right? Spend half the day in traffic, sure. But at least you can roll down the window and get some sun (and exhaust, eek). Congrats to you, AF, Al, and Mr. Tabby on the new abode!

Jane D said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is very good news!