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At Last, Almost

R.’s been here for the last week, hanging out during his spring break, taking care of some odds and ends. It was fabulous having him here, as it always is, and somewhat hard taking him to the airport this morning.

But only somewhat. Because it’s finally begun to sink in: this is the last time that he has to go home. Or, rather, the last time that going-home involves traveling in a direction that is away from me.

After an unbelievably long time spent in this long-distance relationship, with the number of years spent living in different states stretching far enough into the double digits to make our survival as a pair seem somewhat miraculous, we’ve finally worked it all out. R.’s moving here in five weeks.

We’ve spent long enough stretches in the same apartment — about eight months during my last sabbatical; nearly a year during his last one — that there’s no nervousness about this transition. We know we live together well. What we’ve got instead is unadulterated excitement, knowing that we can finally do some of the things together that we’ve been putting off. Some number of those things are material; periodically, over the last week, one of us has turned to the other with this somewhat starry, somewhat craven look, and said, “Two incomes. One household. No flying.” And both of us sit back and imagine the things we can do, the places we can go.

But the most important part for me has been realizing that, at last, I’m going to have a life in this town that is completely separate from my job. Something that makes it worth hurrying to finish things at the office so that I can go home. Someone who takes priority, and who might provide me with good reason to say no to things a bit more often.

Five weeks left, to finish up this semester and get ready for what feels, at the moment, like a whole new life.


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