I have officially moved into the realm of my middle late forties.
My dear friend Marisa - a Western Massachusetts native and the one who first suggested I move here - invited me to come up to Williamstown - in the northwestiest corner of Northwest Massachusetts like four miles from Vermont and six miles from New York - and have lunch. I almost didn’t go. But I did and I’m so glad I did. We’ve known each other since the early 90s when we were booksellers together, along with Scott K. She has her life and I have mine and even though we have lived near each other since I moved to New York in 2008, we only see each other three or four times a year.
We walked from her house to the little district near Williams College and had Indian for lunch. (Indian food, not an Indian. Though the waiter would only address me and only look at me, pretending Marisa didn’t exist, so maybe we should have eaten him.) Then we got pecan turtles and coffee and walked back home where I got to see two of the three kids and play with her obese dog Lucy.
I was supposed to leave by 3:00pm and return home the long way via Pittsfield so I could stop by the Audi dealership and get my rear view mirror fixed, but we ended up talking until almost 5:00 and then I had to come straight home - still a 70 minute drive - and take care of the hounds.
Marisa has been with her husband since 1987. I think they are the only couple my age I know that have survived so many years. And they are a great couple with great kids, a great couple (family) who have weathered some terrible things and come out total winners. The kind of people we want to be where we find the perfect mate and then mate for life.
So, I got home and was smothered by happy dogs and continued listing to the music mix I made last night of all my favorite (non-classical) songs. Lots of Tom Waits and The Bonnie Prince and Gillian Welch and Leonard Cohen and Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong and Billy Bragg and Nick Drake and Radiohead and such. (I was posting songs earlier as they were playing.)
Then, ice cream. Because ice cream.
Now it’s bedtime. Must be well rested to start another day of job hunting and applying for jobs tomorrow. Maybe spend three hours getting my freakin’ mirror fixed. (Who breaks their rear view mirror trying to make sure their tie is straight? Me.) Maybe have that third interview if the owner moves me into the final two.
The drive to Williamstown is through the forest and through the farms on State Route 116. An hour without so much as a gas station. I saw cows and horses and goats and chickens and ducks, and frozen lakes - they call them lakes here but they’re really large ponds. It was not only nice to see Marisa - one of my soul mates - but also to be immersed in why I moved here. I a little reminder of why I love living in a rural setting and how much I want to get my life in order and my finances stable so that I can stop renting and buy my own place and have some animals.
So I have officially moved into the realm of my middle late forties.
I lived in cities - including, of course, Manhattan - for 30 years and now I’m back in the country like where I grew up, minus all the religious fanatics. It feels right here now. Just get my life in order and my finances stable. Paint every minute I can. Get some animals. Have fresh milk in the mornings for my coffee. Keep buying and reading books. Support the local farmers and local businesses. Grow 30 varieties of peppers and use them to their full potential.
Be quiet and happy - and feel content being single - until the day I’m not here anymore.
Meanwhile, during the time it took me to type this, Titus has stolen my wool coat off the chair and made a nest out of it in front of the TV.