"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just Because the Grass Isn't Really Always Greener, Does That Mean it Can't be Sometimes? Part 1

The story to date.

About two months ago, my wife and I made the -- admittedly drop-of-the-hat -- decision to move from our home in Albuquerque (where I've lived for forty years) to Fort Collins, Colorado; a city we'd been to twice. We'd gone once for the day, back in 2008, when I was considering attending graduate school at Colorado State University, and once in the summer of 2012 as a side trip from Denver to tour the New Belgium Brewery. 

A few months following the latter trip, our relationship hit a couple of potholes that rendered it inoperable. I moved out of the house for, what I assumed was forever. 

But in the end, things came together. In the time apart, we both learned a lot about ourselves and we did some growing. In March of this year we agreed to try to work it out and, for the most part, it has. We had talked about the possibility of selling the house -- which she had purchased just before we met -- and buying a new place that was "ours." One we'd chosen together

One afternoon, while I was in the process of moving my stuff back to the house from my little apartment, she phoned me.

"What would you say about selling the house and moving to Fort Collins?"

"..." I really wasn't sure what to say. It was as though someone had asked if I wanted a million dollars. What was the catch?

"I was looking on CSU's employment site and found an Occupational Therapy job," she said. That's what she's been doing in Albuquerque for the past 9 years, mostly for local schools.

She went on. "They've also got listings for English instructors." That's what I've done for the past four years. I didn't really need to think too much about it.

Or more to the point, I didn't WANT to think more about it. The big reason I hadn't applied to CSU for grad school five years earlier because we weren't going to be able to sell our house, it being in the depths of the housing crash.

But now? Was it better now? Summer is supposed to be the best time to sell a house. It was, however, putting me well past the time when the Universities hire for the Fall semester. There was a chance that I could get into the Part-Timer pool. In a pinch, I could probably come up with something else.

I didn't really care, because it meant escaping Albuquerque. I hate to say this, it sounds so negative, but I hate this town. It's got a few minor charms, and everybody can list some attributes that I can't argue with -- the sky, the sunsets. People will often mention the weather here. "360 days of sunshine," they'll say -- as if that's a good thing. As if you can be out and enjoying that sun. A bunch of those sunny days come in the cold, dreary, dusty-brown winters. Many more come in the intolerable summer heat. (For those who say, "Oh, this isn't hot, you should try Phoenix or Houston," I say, shut up. just shut up now. If you step in a small pile of shit, the fact that there's a larger one that you DIDN'T step in doesn't make it better.You've still stepped in shit.) As I was writing this, I saw rain clouds moving in. I remember that someone had recently commented on the smell of this place after a rain and, I had to admit, yeah. It's great. But we've been having a real monsoon season, after so many years of teasers, and last night, during a good downpour, my family and I sat outside under the patio covering. The magic never happened. Even the rain smelled like dust. Or like musty old dirty sweat. There is so much more I could bitch about, but I won't. Yet.

There actually IS a reason for my story here and it has to do with the idea of personal freedom in the land of the free, and also, the concept of the grass being greener. I'll go into those in parts 2 and 3 of this post. But until then, understand that I know how to be satidfied with what I have. I don't think that's the issue here. Or maybe it is a little.

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