Saturday, January 03, 2015

Moving: One Step Forward

I'm OK, first of all.  Thanks for so many queries asking if I'm still alive.  I don't know if I know how to write any more, but I'm willing to test the waters here.

I've moved, if anyone doesn't know that, from Brooklyn back to my hometown, Missoula, Montana.  The return of the native has become the native is restless.  I'm without a car or a place of my own, living in my brother's basement (still has more light that the Bat Cave), & finding out why moving is considered one the three most stressful life changes. 

Who am I going to be? I began to wonder as I packed up boxes of books and clothes and silliness in October.  I won't be walking dogs -- can I scrap the stained clothes I used?  I began to do that, along with scrapping almost anything I couldn't see using or wanting.  But what would I be?  Who would I hang out with?  Where would I go?

Idiot me: I thought I'd find out & I haven't, much.  The Holidays are a terrible time to answer those questions because the wheres are fancy & the whos are not dependable when the calendar changes.  So far, my crappy dog clothes, those that weren't hopelessly awful, have been fine, although today I took my father to breakfast so I'm wearing jeans & a bra & my hair is still down & I still have earrings in.

This week I hit critical mass in the cha-cha of moving.  The IRS and I had agreed I would pay by check in December.  We discussed this twice.  I wrote a check.  The IRS deducted its amount from my bank -- my New York bank which I was about to close out because there isn't a branch to be found for 200 miles.  Overdraft & stop payment fees I can't afford hoved into my checkbook.  I called the IRS to discuss all this...&, after an hour of trying to get through, their computers were down. 

Really?  So does that mean everyone owing them money on January 2, 2015, gets a day's grace?

Somehow I doubt it.

All of this was preoccupying me while I tried to be a nice person waiting out agendas on my brother's home front so I could pick up the car I'd rented for a few days, then driving said car on ice after many years of not driving on ice, going to a Zoo Town Lit New Year's Eve & being asked questions like, "How come you weren't at X party?" & wondering if that was an answer to the question of who I'll hang out with (not some of the people you love) & realizing how hungry I am for the right writer friends to talk to.  But, uh, will I?

I'm reading William Manchester's Winston Churchill biography, Vol. 1, & am reminded of what it's like to make one's way in Society.  Once upon a time, I had a small niche of my own in Missoula -- Zoo Town -- Society.  No longer.  All I can do is show up when invited, follow up on what bait I've thrown out & try to decide if I want to be in Society.

It would be nice if this involved a long white train, ostrich feathers & curtsying to the Queen.

God.  It almost does.  Ouch.

Oh, dear.  What have I done?  I can't even walk down the street for cigarettes, yogurt & kibble.

Although the kibble is half as expensive here & cigarettes $5 less.

The good thing about all that was complaining to my father.  My father as you may remember always told us kids that if we wanted sympathy, we'd find it between shit & syphilis in the dictionary, so I was wary of blabbing out all my financial, family & social woes.  Amazingly, he understood.  He actually did.  He GOT it.  I felt heard after many weeks of trying & probably failing to be mute while I smiled.

It's all temporary but it's been a longish temporary that included a vicious stomach bug & a Holiday season in which I was too broke to buy all my family gifts.   Today I finally mailed the keys back to my landlord in New Jersey...although the postage machine didn't dispense the postage until I paid twice.

You see what I mean?


Anne M. said...

Glad to see this and know you're safe and sound in Missoula. It's a huge move from NYC, especially at the holidays, so please give yourself the grace period of adjustment that you would give Us. What I heard in this was about settling in and not about what you left behind, which was interesting. I think you made a good decision to go back to the known but unknown. You will find your place. May you be happy :)

Liesl said...

Ah, life. I am glad you are back where you wanted to be. Even though it may not quite feel right yet. I was so happy to find your post and, even though I don't know you, happy to read your writing again and know that you are okay- well, okay enough, which is what we can hope for sometimes. I have missed hearing your thoughts.

E. Jane said...

Best wishes to you, Frances. I think Anne said it best, "give yourself the grace period of adjustment..." Montana has always been such a part of who you are, so give it a chance to become home again.

May said...

Do not be afraid. Moving is a good thing. Listen, god is in the silence and god is in the detritus. Do not set any limits on what is possible.
Always extra expenses in a move. bravo for you tolerating it. especially the dreaded double tax charge.
Do not compare yourself with anybody else.
My own experience of getting out of the city, one thing anyway was being able to come off meds. I did it myself and now take thyroid and a bit of lady hormones. pretty big deal . even if i need them again i have had a break. That may not work for you.
Dogs are great social lubricants.
I got a tiny art studio in town. I paint but there are poets and writers there.
Holding you in the light

I have bought all your books. Love them.. sort of a combination trickster god and lady hero. Do not lose sight of your own goodness.

Laura said...

I too have purchased and read (and reread!) all of your books. I'm glad to know that you made it back to Montana safely, and you're settling in. And you got a glimmer of sympathy and understanding from Dad! That's HUGE! There's another book in all this, Frances. Prayers and good thoughts to you.

Anonymous said...

I missed you and am glad to find your recent post. In honor of it I am reading Passing For Thin for the third time.

Finding the energy to move is something I want for myself and admire so much. I've wanted it for more than two years. This would not be back to NYC. As I revisit PFT I realize again how comforting it was to be able to "picture" you there.

Thank you for coming back and I will be checking back here. Sending you wishes for peace and comfort.


Liesl said...

I hope you write again soon, and I hope that you are well. I love reading what you write.