You took off on Friday. Maybe I was the fool for not seeing it coming. Let’s add that to the ever-expanding list of things that make me a fool, including:
- My tendency to order off the kids’ menu.
- Those shoes with the bells on them.
- Texting while driving. (Though only while driving one of those little Shriner’s cars in the 4th of July parade. And just that one time. And it was an emergency.)
So after three years, two months and fourteen days, it looks like I’m on my own again. On one hand, I’ll have a lot more time to write. On the other hand, I’ve got this other hand, you know? And it’s empty.
But I’m not mad. Really I’m not. Okay, I am. I’m really mad. You just left. No note, no nothing. I thought things were okay. Actually, I thought things were really great. A lot of things. That time we went snowshoeing over at the Macintosh farm, that was great. The 4th of July parade (though not the year I got arrested). Before you, I’d never thought of grocery shopping as a team sport. A very competitive team sport. And all those nights in the backyard staring up at the night sky. Really great.
We did everything together. Sure, maybe you liked your alone time out in the shed. A lot of time, actually. No, it wasn’t weird. I figured you needed a little space to think. And stare at gardening tools, apparently?
Maybe that was it. Maybe I didn’t give you enough space. And time. And now you’re gone. And good for you. Really, I’m happy for you. You always said you were an explorer, that you wanted to see new places, new people, new worlds. You were in the very first graduating class of NASA’s Junior Astrokid program, after all. And your sense of adventure is what brought you to town in the first place. To me. And now you’re off someplace starting your new life like Mary Tyler Moore throwing your stupid ugly hat in the air.
♪♫ YOU’RE GONNA MAKE IT AFTER ALL… ♪♫
I always hated that hat. And your ridiculously tiny head.
No, I don’t hate your head. I don’t hate you. I love you. I love the way you hated. You hated with all your heart. You hated the way everybody stops at the bottom of Highview even though there’s no stop sign. You hated how when you order the tikka masala from the one Indian restaurant within 25 miles, it comes with fries.
I do think you grew to hate it here. And I hate that I didn’t see it coming. Maybe it was me. Maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe you just had to get out. This town can do that to you. To an explorer.
No, this isn’t New York or Boston or even Providence, really. I’ll give you that. But how many modern conveniences does one town need? Do we have an ATM? Yes. Does the grocery store have self-checkout? Sure, it’s called shoplifting. Don’t do it.
You want fame? Need I remind you that we live next door to the inventor of the first electric can closer?
You want weird? It doesn’t get more WTF than a town council which breaks its voting ties using a Magic 8 Ball.
“Do we really need a new bocce court over at Francis Xavier Sarsaparilla Park?”
Reply hazy, try again.
Okay, maybe we all do things a little differently and maybe I don’t always get things right and look, I hate to sound like a broken mirror here, but it’s a small town and I like it and I love you and I think maybe you were just too great-big-world for Blue Sky, Rhode Island. And me.