I wish I didn’t have to choose between my friends and finding a better home.
Here’s my fantasy. I’d take my closest haunt friends here in Green Bay plus everyone I met last summer on the road and form a punk community out in the woods, where I’d live out the rest of my life happily ever after. I think we would all get along. Even though none of my nomad friends are haunters and none of my haunt friends are nomads. We are all of similar minds, beliefs, and philosophies.
Of course that fantasy is wholly unrealistic. Just because I have no family or career commitments doesn’t mean I can just pluck other people out of their lives to satisfy my whim. But if I could… If I could bend the universe to my will…
A Sticky Wicket
A little over two weeks ago, I discussed an embarrassing topic and predicted the possibility that one of my friends would read it, thereby compounding my embarrassment. The thing is – when I said that – I thought the odds were pretty low. I thought that if any of my friends had been reading this blog, that they stopped reading after I concluded the North American Road Trip. I honestly believed that this blog had become a semi-private journal visited only periodically by random people searching Google for how to take a shower on the road.*
* I would have to comb through previous entries to be sure, but I don’t think I ever got around to writing any practical How-To blogs. I know I did at least one on preparing a go bag. If I didn’t do any others, then I should do that – a series of entries on coping with practical issues on the road. I’ll put this on my to-do list, but I might put it off until after the next road trip. By then, I might have more sage advice about cold weather trips.
To my horror, it turns out at least one of my friends is actually reading what I write. I know this because he told me. And of course, it couldn’t just be some acquaintance – it had to be one of my closest friends. (Hi, Kyle!) That elevates the aforementioned blog post from embarrassing to horrifyingly humiliating. It’s not Kyle’s fault, of course. I wanted to get something off my chest and chose to do it here because I felt the subject matter was relevant to the theme of this blog. I took a gamble that nobody relevant to the story would read it. I lost that bet.
But Did I Really Lose?
I’ve been seeing and talking to my friends much more frequently these past few weeks. I am mortified to think that I may have inadvertently guilt-tripped anyone. But seeing my friends now is better than the alternative. How shitty would I feel if I had learned that someone had read that blog post, but nothing had changed? I would then have to conclude that I am loathed, rather than the lot of us just being ambivalent.
This may have unfolded in a humiliating way. But at least I’m getting something out of it, right?
But Did I Really Win?
Look – leaving Green Bay and heading west was always going to be difficult. Even if I never saw any of my friends again between now and the day I leave, it would still be fucking painful.
I am a living, breathing, walking contradiction. Even though I am introverted, antisocial, and misanthropic, I have great affection for the few select people I consider my friends. So while I am perfectly comfortable never reaching out to them, I find it excruciating to deliberately put more distance between myself and them.
At least if I weren’t seeing my friends now, it would be ever-so-slightly easier to relocate out west. But now that I’m hearing from them regularly, I fear that I could repeat my mistake of last summer and decide to remain in Green Bay.
Let Me Eat Cake
If only I didn’t have to choose. If only I could take my friends with me out west.
Ironically – among my close group of half a dozen haunters – only one of us seems reluctant to leave Wisconsin. The rest of us all want to leave this shit-hole state. I know this because we discussed it last summer when we were considering a joint business venture. We could just never agree on where to relocate or when we would be ready to take the plunge.
At the moment, I stand alone as the only person who is not bound to Wisconsin by either family or employment. Save for the confines of my lease, I am the only person who is in a position to leave Wisconsin on a whim. But if I don’t do it soon, I will eventually have to get a job here in Wisconsin, which then puts me in the same boat as everyone else. I almost feel like it is my duty to grow a pair and make the move now while I still have a chance.
If I find success out west, will my haunter cohorts follow me out there? Not likely. But not unfathomable, either.
Return of the Living Dead
There is one small consolation. I had forgotten that Zombie – when he sits still – calls Washington home. (He recently shaved off his beard – by the way – and looks like a whole new person now.) I was flipping through photos of the North American Road Trip the other day, and all of the pictures with people in them – Zombie, Cricket, their crust pups, and Sue & Chris – brought tears to my eyes.
Painful as it may be to leave my haunters, there’s a silver lining in that I would be moving close to at least one friend. Losing a half dozen haunters is still a net loss and one I would still like to avoid if possible. But I have to look for the silver lining. I have no future in Green Bay and (at least for now) I remain committed to starting a new life out west.
What I wouldn’t give for transporter technology. Shrink this planet such that distances and geography are no longer barriers.