Last weekend my sister and I were walking around her neighborhood in Buffalo, NY. It was late afternoon, maybe evening, 7:30 anyway, and we were on our way to dinner. I was joking about it still being afternoon while my sister insisted it was evening and pretended to be horrified at my late hours. I liked this game because it let us both keep up our new personas. Me – the young, energetic girl-woman of late hours and too many drinks and no plans. Her – the young wife setting up house with her husband, newly responsible and collected, early to bed and early to rise. Opposites in balance, neatly defined.
“No no, it’s afternoon,” I said, for the third time. But then I admitted, “I don’t really believe that. It’s evening.” She looked at me and said “I never know when to believe you anymore.” Fair enough. I don’t know when I believe myself. Or, rather, I believe everything I say when I say it, but I never know how long that belief will last. A minute? Ten? This week? My life?
We crossed the street and walked down a broken sidewalk in front of old houses all painted in different bold colors. I told her how beautiful it was, said “you have found a perfect city.”
“Well,” she replied, “you should move here!”
“I want to move everywhere,” I said. “When we get older and have kids I want us to live in the same place, I want them to grow up together. But right now I just want to drift for a bit. I want to travel around the country, see the world.”
She asked, “When you say you want to travel do you really, or do you just want to be the kind of person who would want that?”
“Both,” I said. “I also want to settle down. I crave home. And I want our homes to be in the same place! I want everyone I love to be together.”
“How is that going to happen?” she asked. “Do you want to follow us here, then? Or have us follow you?”
“Neither. I don’t want to follow, don’t want followers. I just want us to all naturally end up in the same place.”
She laughed. “You want impossible things,” she said. And it’s true. I do.