Stay Where You Are

After I dropped Spencer off at school today, I had to run a couple errands. I paid a bill at a drop off site (forgot to mail it. Again.) and then I decided to head downtown because I wanted to check something and I was most of the way there already. I don’t often go downtown.

I parked in the garage, got out of my car and was hit with a smell. I don’t even know what it was. Not the usual parking garage smells of urine and fuel, but some sort of  foliage based scent. And it was a plant smell I’ve known my whole life, from the hill in my parent’s yard? Girl Scout camp? A bush at school? There’s been a trend towards native platings in urban areas, so I’m sure it’s something that was always around when I was growing up.

It’s so strange staying where you were.

In a brief, but brisk, 15 minute walk, I passed within view of the site of my prom, where my husband proposed, where my sister got married, my dad’s memorial bench, the first place I stayed up all night and the site of my very first kiss.

Every time I go around town, I feel the weight of the past sitting on my shoulders like a cloak of bad decisions. Not my husband’s proposal of course, that is probably the single best decision I have made in this stupid city. That and getting out the first time. I spent nearly a decade away, at college, at various jobs in various locations in Northern California. Those are my people, the Northern Californians, people of sensible shoes and hoodies on grown-ups, the refreshing lack of bejeweled butt pockets and stripper heels at the mall.

Then I came back, to help with ailing then dying parents and here I remain.  Still. I feel like the fact I’m still here negates all the time I spent living in between.

Living here is a cancer, a blight. This city and this house. But my husbands job is here, a job he loves, excels at and it allows me to stay home. We’re waiting to hear about a transfer and the wait is killing me. Spencer’s school is here, his friends. My friends mostly live in the computer, I am ready to live anywhere.

After my walk, I sat in my car typing this on my phone. I didn’t want to forget my thoughts. I realized my foot hurt, not my left which has been hurting on and off for weeks, but my right. I’m wearing shoes that hurt but I can’t throw away because they’re the shoes I was wearing when I lost the twins. Which, strangely, happened out of town.

You know that feeling when you are halfway through a song you don’t like on the radio and you’ve been singing along even though you hate it and then you change the station? That’s what I feel like today. I think I might have just changed the station. I threw out the shoes.


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5 Responses to “Stay Where You Are”

  1. Leah says:

    This is very powerful. You are one of the strongest people I pretend to know.


  2. Suzanne says:

    I’m glad you threw out the shoes. xoxo


  3. Kitty Conner says:

    Here’s to changing the station. And may the very beginning of your very favorite song be playing on the next.


  4. Brigid Keely says:

    Good luck regarding the job transfer.


  5. I often feel that way about staying so close to my hometown. Sometimes it is hard to stop being sucked back in.


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