I get lost in people. Friends, coworkers, lovers. And by lost, I mean I get so wrapped up in who they are, I dive into their personality dissecting mannerisms, aspirations, attitudes, likes, dislikes, lines, birthmarks, you name it. Once inside it’s not always easy to claw my way out again. I say claw like it’s a bad thing, like I’m trapped, but can you really be trapped in something that you (1) are self aware enough about and yet still (2) put yourself in willingly despite how damaging you know it will be?
The honest truth it that it doesn’t start out feeling like work – it feels good. Good in an addictive sort of way. I search for answers like it’s a game.
Why do you fill our silences with “what else…?” as you search for another topic. Why does silence make you uncomfortable?
Why can’t you hold eye contact? Is it a form of flirtation? Do men find it adorable?
What is it about hockey that you love so much? The skill? The aggression? The supposed masculinity?
Why don’t you ever want to move outside of Ottawa? The world has so much to offer outside of this birthplace that someone else chose for you. Are you scared? Complacent? Do you love it’s simplicity? Maybe that’s not very fair, but by my count, there’s only two things someone can do in Ottawa: work for the government or start a family… some do both. No one does neither. No one.
I suppose the green-space does have a certain allure. Whenever I visit, it’s almost like breathing oxygen for the first time. The degrees of separation can also be comforting; you always know someone or someone’s someone at any given place in town. And I guess owning a house is more feasible there too? Like one with a yard both in front and out back, maybe a pool where I can spend my mornings in the summer taking dips whenever I get smacked in the face with writer’s block. The noise of the city full of only chirping birds, bristling leaves, and buzzing bees. Sounds that, unlike the traffic of the big city, have healing powers. Realistically, I really could write from anywhere. It’s basically all done over email anyways, #jobperk. And like, what ties do I really have to Toronto? I could give two months notice to my landlord and be back in Ottawa and settled a week later. Heck, mom and dad might even help with the move because it means I’m closer to them, they are getting on in years. And who’s gonna take care of them when they can’t take care of themselves? Might be nice to be rooted before it’s pressing. Oh my gosh, I could go fishing with dad like I did as a child! I don’t know who’d be more excited about this. Mom would have someone to talk to that wasn’t the TV or the cats and I could work toward repairing our relationship. The idea that I don’t care to fix it is just that: an idea, and how good would it be to finally understand her? Forgive her?
Okay. SO. Here’s the plan of attack:
- Tell my roommate/landlord.
- Marie Kondo the shit out of my stuff.
- Ask Mom/Dad if it’s cool to crash in my old room for a month while I get settled.
- Three weeks out I’ll give notice at work (one week on top of the customary two weeks because I’m nice like that).
- Pack up all my shit. Correction: what’s left of my shit.
- Do the goodbye rounds: coworkers, writer’s circle, writing mentors, actor friends, friends that gave me life, the best friends who after 32 years made me finally confident in myself, to the women who inspired me everyday, to the girl who would often visit on her way home from work because a week without seeing each other just felt weird, and to the person whose body I was only just getting to know.
- Thank the city for giving me the best eight years of my life.
- Drive the moving van back to Ottawa.
- Park in the driveway of the house I grew up in, get out of the car, breathe in the cleanest air my lungs have ever tasted…
- … and breathe out someone else’s life.
- Try to stop hyperventilating.
What the fuck have I done? Oh that’s right… I got lost in you.