Tales of a 21st Century Gypsy

30 December, 2003. The end or the beginning or the next step?

I canít quite believe Iím finally reaching the end of being in New Brunswick. Iíve thought so little about leaving, just gone through step after step, one at a time, jumping each hurdle as it comes up without really considering it. Tomorrow Iím leaving, though, for good. Iíve been packing and organizing and driving a load down to Virginia, returning the next day, nexpectedly meeting up with an old friend and spending an afternoon and evening that should have gone to packing hanging around with her in Princeton instead.

Iím not thinking about leaving. I have no real desire to stay here, but of course now that Iím really leaving I feel nostalgic about the place. Less so about the people, though that makes me feel a bit guilty. How am I supposed to react to leaving, and saying good bye to Suzanne or my landlady Sharon or people I know less than them? I donít really know. Iím so used to leaving, and to leaving people behind, and Iím used to my friends being accustomed to that. So none of us really took it seriously Ė just me heading off again to go somewhere as usual. And yet I do leave most of them behind totally, like the Chesapeake kayak folks, whom Iím pretty much out of touch with Ė out of sight, out of mind. I kind of feel bad for not Ė for not feeling bad. Thatís ridiculous. I feel that Iím treating them all badly because I donít miss them. But does that mean I really donít care about them, or I never did care about them? I certainly did when I was with them. Just as Suzanne is clearly my good friend here and the only person I would talk with about things, aside from Jeff. But I think Iíll stay friends with Suzanne. We wonít be together day to day, but Iím sure that when we see each other, it will be as if we had not been apart for months Ė weíll jump right back into talking about stuff the way we did when we first met each other. Is that just a rationalization for not feeling bad about leaving her? Or is it true? I do think itís true, but maybe that doesnít stop it from also being a rationalization.

Iím sitting in Starbucks, drinking coffee and watching people and starting out at George Street. This is my last night in this Starbucks, my last night in New Brunswick. I felt I had to stop out for a few minutes and relax Ė even though itís ten at night, and I still have to go back to my office and sort things out so that I can turn the keys over to Clint tomorrow morning. Iím approaching that state of continuous motion, donít think, just keep going, keep doing things, keep getting stuff done bit by bit. Donít sleep, donít stop, donít change focus, donít lose momentum. Donít think, either. If I stop to think I might have to ask what Iím doing, or what I should do next, and then Iíll get off track and I wonít get it done, I wonít make it out of here tomorrow afternoon.

I canít believe itís tomorrow.

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