I am sitting in the house with my sister as she recovers from appendicitis. She had three surgeries over the course of a month and stopped breathing for several hours. So much for simple. Now, I am “freelancing.” Basically, that means I am playing a lot of Heroes of Might & Magic III and watching movies on old, scratched-up videotapes recorded first by me and then by her after I went to college all those years ago. I never thought I would be back here, in this little but homey house in New Jersey, with no friends nearer than NYC and nowhere to go except the Bridgewater Mall. But I am, and that’s okay for now.
Every now and then, I remind myself that I’ve been to Chicago, lived on my own in San Francisco, Green Bay and Ann Arbor, fallen in love, fallen out of love, and gone through a bad breakup. I was only going to be here for six months, enough to get my feet under me again and move out, to Boston or New York or back to Chicago.
So I am sitting on the couch with my sister, and we are watching movies that she has taped over the course of the last few years. Every now and then, I disappear into my room, close the door, boot up the computer to play Heroes III and just space out. We are talking more, which is wonderful since we lost touch when I went to school and then decided not to come home in summer anymore. We are adults now, joking and laughing and having heart-to-hearts but still kids sometimes. Still, I am feeling an urge to be gone from New Jersey and from this old house and this old town where none of my friends live anymore. I’m ready to move on, and while I can’t yet, I am already making plans. My sister will be better and back at Cornell for the fall semester, and my parents will both be working, and the house will be empty, the door open.
I leap through it. I visit friends in L.A. in August — many of us were Radio/TV/Film majors — and three months later I move there. I stay on Anna’s couch for a few weeks until I find an apartment, then get a job, and one by one the pieces fall into place.