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About: Late-twenties Chicago cat lady rides bike, complains.
Friday night

I’m drunk, a little, off rhode island flavored shandy. I’ve been doing crafts with washi tape. Things are pretty good, but things are especially good because I’m eavesdropping on Mike’s telephone call and he’s talking to his friend about the state of things, and like 300 feminist rants, all reasonably explained, are coming out of his mouth, and he is so good.

tuesday afternoon

Everything closes early here. It is weird, and quiet, and there are lot of older white people with money. Three dogs live next door. We haven’t gotten Hilda here yet because we are still unpacking. Unsurprising to everyone but me, I own too many dishes. Dishes on dishes on dishes.

I’m okay in this house, but I keep getting lost when I leave. And there are so many rude people! You can’t buy beer in the grocery store or past six on Sunday. Two days ago I was in the liquor store at 5:50pm and they turned out the lights and it made picking out beer in a place where I don’t know what beers there are in a rush all the worse.

This morning I rode my bike up a hill. I think it might take awhile to learn to like Rhode Island.

leaving chicago forever

Just kidding, I’ve left. I’m in a hotel room in Scranton and 90 per cent of my possessions are in a truck in the parking lot. I hope no one steals them.

When we first hatched this plan, when two years ago we sat in the yard of the pie shop and said would you move? would you move? to each other, it seemed not real. The more real it got the more I imagined the moment of leaving. I’ve had this vision forever now of driving across the Skyway with the city behind me, crying. When I even thought about it I’d tear up, and I was worried about the uncontrollable sobbing when it happened for real.¬†

I didn’t cry. I cried last weekend, and I cried eating dinner with Mike at the bar at Lula before my going away party. I almost cried when I said goodbye to Maria.

Yesterday we loaded up the truck and then we sat on the stoop eating pizza. I went inside to sweep and almost cried but didn’t. I swept. Sparks emailed me today to say I didn’t do a good job, but I swept. I didn’t cry.

Monica and I took out the trash and I told her I felt weird, but I didn’t cry.

When I went back up Mattie and Jeff and Bobby had wandered up, and Sparks had come back, and Ed and Sean and Maureen were all still there, and so we walked to get ice cream. I hugged Bobby at the corner to his house and Sean shortly after and then stood awkwardly at our stoop until someone, probably Mike, suggested I hug everyone. I still didn’t cry. I wanted to, and I almost did. How do you say goodbye to these people who have shaped the whole first chunk of your adult life?

You don’t. You stand awkwardly and you hug even though you are not a touch-er and you mumble things and you get in your truck. You yell “I love you!” out the window when they probably can’t hear you anymore, and then you promptly drive your moving van into a dumpster.

seanshatto:

Sunday night nail pals.

Here is a picture of Cyndi and I before we went to Weegees and I drank a hundred things and then burst into tears at the shuffleboard table because I finally realized that I’m leaving Chicago forever.

seanshatto:

Sunday night nail pals.

Here is a picture of Cyndi and I before we went to Weegees and I drank a hundred things and then burst into tears at the shuffleboard table because I finally realized that I’m leaving Chicago forever.

It should be noted that Paul McLeod died last night.

It should be noted that Paul McLeod died last night.

Seriously come to unity park and buy my stuff.

Seriously come to unity park and buy my stuff.

saturday

I want to say that it is Saturday morning, but it isn’t. It’s Saturday afternoon and I haven’t gotten dressed yet. I put some stuff in boxes and dyed a tote bag with the indigo that I’ve been dyeing everything else with. I put one hairpin leg on the piece of yellow particleboard that I got in the as-is section of Ikea before my drill battery died and now those things are spread out on the living room floor with everything else.

Do you need things? We’re having a yard sale tomorrow morning and I am getting rid of so much stuff.

July is strange so far: we took two days to drive here, and I swam naked in two great lakes, making that all five. I left my bathing suit on a picnic table at a campground on Lake Erie and we tried to see Niagara Falls but got overwhelmed immediately. The sky opened up when we were on the beach on Lake Huron and we sat soaked in the line to cross the border. Over breakfast in Detroit I tried to pull up the message that Mike had sent me two summers ago while I sat in a Wendy’s near the bridge to Belle Isle with Sparks, but he grabbed the phone out of my hand just as I found it, and it infinity scrolled somewhere else, which was okay.

Since then I’ve been tearing my house apart, making piles, sitting on the floor and looking quietly around.

We spent the fourth of July on Geoff’s rooftop watching the horizon bubble with fireworks and the fifth of July making more piles.

My bike is back from the bike hospital with a new fork and an old wheel, which is a relief because I’d been riding Maureen’s extra bike. I am no longer used to fixed gear and I will never be used to a seat that causes pain to places that you don’t want pain caused to. Soon enough I’m going to have to buy a bike with gears because we are going to live on a hill.

This is all mostly just to say that I feel strange and out of sorts, that moving is hard, that leaving a place is hard.

But seriously, do you need things? I have a lot of things.

Also this selfie of my little brother and I at my grandpa’s 89th birthday party tonight is too good not to put on every social media.

Also this selfie of my little brother and I at my grandpa’s 89th birthday party tonight is too good not to put on every social media.

Gonna complete some life goals this weekend.

Gonna complete some life goals this weekend.

an update

Last Tuesday I had a phone interview, last Wednesday I had an in person interview, and last Thursday I accepted the position to be a Post-secondary Success Fellow at a Providence charter school.

It is a thing that I have mixed feelings about— on the one hand, I am very, very excited: they just graduated their first class this spring, so I’ll be working with their alumni and supporting them through their first year of college. Besides that, I’ll collect a lot of data (qualitative data!! woo!) and use that to help design college access programming within the school. I’ll also help design college counseling¬†curriculum for 9th and 10th grade students. All of this is awesome.

Here is the downside: it is a one-year position and the pay is garbage. But after months of job searching, it seems like you cannot get a job in higher education in New England without a strong network, and you particularly cannot get a job working in service-learning (one of my focus areas) without experience in that specific community. I didn’t even get so much as a phone interview for the job that the director of my department (who is fairly well known/respected blah blah blah blah in the field) personally recommended me for to their director, who he knows. And this was a job which was basically exactly what I’ve been doing for the past three years.

So I’ll take a year to build my network, do an awesome job in this position, enter a fifth year of my poverty streak, learn some things, and see what happens.

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