Monday Afternoon Temptation

The temptation to run away to the other side of the country is great today.

I have friends who are moving to upstate New York, to a town that is allegedly queer friendly, a town that is exceedingly affordable, to a town where I have no history, no memories, no baggage. These friends I have only hung out with during one trip for a few days, but they are people I immediately liked on a level that if we lived in the same town I would make an effort to see them regularly. They are people who know about things I do not, and who know about things that I do, so there are things to learn and things to share. They are smart and kind.

When I heard they were moving to this small town, I joked that I should just pick up and move there so we could be neighbors (ish). Then for the hell of it I looked on Craigslist to see how much it costs to rent an apartment or home there and was shocked how much cheaper it is.  I had daydreams about hiking in the Adirondacks, kayaking in the Finger Lakes, building snow people all winter, popping up to Canada for a weekend. I thought about building new community. I make friends easily enough. Living in a town where I haven't dated anyone, married anyone, been hurt by or hurt anyone, sounds really appealing.

I think I could convince my employer to allow me to work from home if I moved so far away. I think they would not want to lose me.

I used to play this game when I flew alone or traveled alone for work and my seatmate or the guy next to me at the bar would strike up a conversation - I'd just make up an entirely fictitious life - career, kids, relationship or lack thereof, hobbies, etc. These were people I'd never see again so it didn't feel like lying; it just felt like an interesting way to pass the time. When I think about moving I don't think about making up a back story, but more shedding my back story. I think about only telling people the outline, yes previously married, one brother, one child, both parents are alive, yes I work full time in a decent paying job that is somewhat interesting - but not going further than the minimal.

Divorced from the place and people I've spent the majority of my years, it seems I could experience a greater freedom in who I want to be now. No one would have expectations of how I should behave or feel, what I should or should not want. I'd be completely free to write my own present and future.

When my son was young and we were on long road trips for hockey tournaments we'd play a game I call witness protection. We'd come up with our new name, where we'd live, what our jobs would be. It was fun to daydream about being a kindergarten teacher in a small town on the coast of Maine, or a librarian in Savannah, Georgia. I know a complete change à la witness protection is not possible, but moving 3,000 miles away seems to be the closest I can get to that.


  1. We live in a haunted hamlet in Upstate, New York, and it's a great place to reside. I'm a regular reader, but haven't commented before. I'm a little unclear about your marriage ending, though, since you appeared so happy with L. If it's not too nosy to ask, what's the reason that it ended so soon? I didn't see any posts as to why you're divorcing. In any event, I wish you well on your new adventures in 2017.

    1. Unfortunately my former wife and I were not well matched. Love is not always enough. We didn't take the time to determine if we were truly compatible, we just took a leap of faith.

      I prefer not to publicly shame anyone, but I will say that I had very good reasons for deciding to end it.

      But even if the only reason was I decided it wasn't a good match, I believe that is enough of a reason.

      A haunted hamlet...that sounds fascinating.

      Thank you for your good wishes. I am doing well and very happy to be single and living on my own. I'll post about that when the dust settles.

    2. I appreciate your gracious response, thanks. Unfortunately, "love is not always enough," even though we wish it were. We live in Salem, NY. If you ever visit this area, please let me know in a post. We'll give you a tour, and coffee too. (My spouse makes a mean mocha latte.)

    3. I will certainly let you know. That sounds amazing. Similarly if you are ever in Portland, let me know. If you want to reply to this w/your email address, I won't publish the comment and then I will have it so I can let you know when I'm heading out that way for a visit. I hope to this fall.

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