I’m at One More Cup. The yellow mug which I always favored sits a few inches from the mouse, to the right of my laptop. I swear the music which streams from the speaker has been on a constant loop since 2014. I’m writing an entry at the same table where I sat at the start of this journey, at the end of December 2013, just before my entire life changed. The chairs have new covers. A fancy couch sits against one wall. The fundraising gumball machine has been taken away. Otherwise, it could be yesterday. Or tomorrow. Or last year.
In a half hour, I’ll meet a couple of very cool ladies for drinks and dinner. The conversation will ebb and flow. Once in a while, my focus will fade and I’ll wonder what city it is. But I will pull myself back; I’ll smile; I’ll take another bite and ask another question. I’ll know the place: DISTRICT in Waldo, a half-dozen miles or less from the home that I sold, the house which I have not been able to drive past. I drive around it. I admit that: I cannot even go north on Holmes, lest I accidentally maneuver the car too far and have to pull sharply away from the memories.
In the morning, I’ll make a trip to Clay County to continue a case, then spend a few hours in my storage unit. I’ll visit Paula and Sheldon one more time. I’ll have dinner with Jeanne. Then I’ll pack everything in two suitcases, go to bed early, and rise before dawn to catch the first flight home. The sun will greet me as I travel west.
It’s the sixteenth day of the fifty-third month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Dedicated to Dawn L., with thanks.