Monday, July 21, 2008

"hey, how's it goin'?"

My stomach aches lately. A reminder that I love Baton Rouge, even in moments when I do not.

Last night, I attended my last book club meeting at a book club of which I am both an unlikely member and a slacker-reader. (The others are mostly conservative lawyers, journalists who cover local politics, and politics-junkies in general – all things I am not. I’m also pretty sure they were a studious bunch in their youth – something else I was not.) Yet I’ve loved being part of this book club.

I said a simple goodbye to everyone, but when I got into my car, I felt like lead weights were lodged in my gut. One more goodbye in a series begun; I am sad to leave even friends I am least close or similar to.

I have loved the freedom to navigate among so many distinct and different groups. I wonder if I’ll find this kind of aimless but acceptable wandering in and out of circles in Austin. On some level, I need all these diametrically opposed personality types to be part of my life. I like to be a moving point traveling in a gigantic multi-set Venn diagram.

Everyone knows everyone in Baton Rouge. This is a place where strangers say, "Hey, how are you," when they're passing on the sidewalk, and when they say it enough times, eventually they stop to talk, and in a few months, they know one another. Gradually, you're not running into strangers anymore, but friends. It’s a curse and a blessing. Right now, it's mostly a blessing. I know so because my stomach aches at the notion of leaving so soon.

*The Venn diagram image came from this blog.

SONG: I Want You (She's so Heavy), The Beatles

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