I took a nap this afternoon. It was lovely.
I would say that it was a nap kind of day, but really it was the beautiful sort of day that should have been spent outside and instead I woke up in Universe City, packed up my stuff, said goodbye to my friends who had lent me their basement room, had tea with a former coworker, drove to Gone West, had a Spanish lesson, went to Trader Joe's, came home, took a nap, made lentils and rice to eat all week, and walked to the bookstore, where I picked out a Spanish verb book, Spanish flashcards, and a new journal before realizing that I'd forgotten my wallet at home and the store was closing right then. So it was more of a sneak-a-nap sort of day than a nap sort of day.
My trip to Universe City was primarily for an event on Friday. A good friend and colleague of mine received a very high honor, and there was no way I was going to miss the ceremony. I talked to hordes of former coworkers and opposing counsel types, and more than once people mentioned that my old job has an opening again and do you think...?
I thought about it, surrounded by all of these familiar, wonderful people.
I thought about it pushing my friends' baby in a jogging stroller up and down the hills in the neighborhood one over and one down from where I used to live, while they cleaned the house for a kids birthday party, while a former opposing counsel stopped and yelled hi as he drove by.
I thought about it getting chai at my sunny old coffee shop, where a former colleague just happened to be getting coffee and we chatted for half an hour.
But then she left, and I sat alone, and I felt again the break my heart took in Universe City, and I knew that I
didn't want to couldn't go back to living amongst all those reminders.
Still, later, drinking tea outside in the warm sunshine with the honoree from the day before, the thought crept back.
Reading book after book to little A. while the football game played in the background, bouncing baby J., eating E.'s delicious glazed drumsticks, sharing a fuzzy blanket with I., the thought came again.
And drinking Two-Buck Chuck with J. and L. in their familiar kitchen, there it was yet again.
But this morning I knew that it was impossible, even as I hugged one more former colleague. I can't go back to the life of wondering whether I'll ever hear from a certain boy again. I can't go back to being three flights away from my family. I can't go back to one of the worst places on the planet for my allergies. I can't. I won't. I am gone.
There are some places you can only revisit. You can't go back.