Tom and I have now been away from New York for nine days. We left on Thursday morning in a Uhaul packed with the help of our friends in Hell’s Kitchen, and drove slowly through a wintry mix down to Virginia, where his parents awaited us with dinner and their sparkling new upstairs condo, outfitted like a 5-star Airbnb.
Since then, I’ve gone to Dallas and back. I’ve finished Bill Bryson’s excellent Australian travelogue, In a Sunburned Country. We’ve done two loads of laundry (in-unit, hurrah!), reassembled our bed and bookshelf in the spare bedroom, celebrated a delicious Thanksgiving, ventured outside just once on Friday to meet friends, and throughout, debated going back to New York this very evening to see friends who, also having moved away from the city, are back in town for the holidays and gathering at an M and P-hosted Friendsgiving feast in Greenpoint.
It’s tempting to go back. It’s very tempting.
“You’ll regret not seeing us when it was just a five-hour drive,” said M.
And I agreed, we definitely will. But so much about life is being able to live with your regrets while stomping forward. Though today, we’re not so much stomping as we are sitting around, avoiding today’s downpour. We’re at our home for the time being. With the pattering of the rain, the tumbling of the dryer and the humming of the refrigerator, we’re feeling a temporary and much-welcomed settledness we probably won’t feel in the months to come.
In the meantime, while Tom is setting up our Australian newsletter (stay tuned), I find myself preparing for the ensuing nostalgia. It never hurts to look back – and I’ll do so here and when you meet me, ad nauseam. I already find myself saying things like, “Oh this would never happen in New York” in situations both good and bad. But looking back, mostly everything is rosy. I think I’ll be saying more often, “That could only happen in New York.”
For instance, having a bunch of friends crammed into a toasty one-bedroom apartment for a Halloween party, or in the case of tonight, a Friendsgiving.
Or, taking an autumnal walk through Central Park, followed by a quick turn through the Frick Collection, and a dusky bike ride back to Hell’s Kitchen. All this just a few days before Tom and I packed up our belongings and drove away.