Last Friday my weekly email readers read some thoughts about Going Home. You Can Read That Here.
There is a particular sigh of relief that you can feel when you walk through an area that is commonly packed full of people. I remember feeling this while sitting in the Student Union building, waiting for my final seminar to take place before the holiday break. Most of the students had packed up, gone home, leaving a field of gleaming tables and empty chairs. Or how the library, open to the public, was still and empty. To din of passing students or studying groups. The whirr of the coffee grinder falls away. When no one lived here, why would they stay here?
We used to do Drinksgiving. The day after the holiday the bars would fill up with people looking for someone they had more in common with than their own families. Booze was cheap, the bartenders made a killing in tips, everyone was finally gaining their good moods about the holiday season. The parties were coming, the days off work were coming, the end of the year was finally upon us!
Those day-afters weren’t as robust this year. Expecting the worst, managers overstaffed. A bartender for every patron. Yards of empty oak and pine. It told the story that we have all known about this damn city: no one calls it home anymore. The clapboard luxury apartments. When everyone has a marble countertop, it is no longer a luxury feature. When everyone moved here in the last few years they all have somewhere else they are expected to be.
When no one lives here, why would they stay here?
Writing would be great if it weren’t the only thing I knew how to do.
I publish as much as I can, you’ll just have to wait for the rest.