People. Pets. Places.
Posted on March 11, 2007
We grieve over people and pets but also over places. And while they never die, as such, our relationships with them can change, remain desperately the same or end altogether. In that sense, the towns and cities in which we spend our childhoods, teens and adult lives, are like the relationships we have with people and, to some extent, with pets. They do, after all, get run over by cars; they are loved and are lost.
The places where I’ve lived, I suppose, are like the girls I’ve loved. I’ve played kiss chase in the town of my infancy, got hot and heavy in the suburbs of my teens, and played the field in the the travels of my twenties.
Now that I’m moving to London – the big smoke – I wonder where the analogy will take me. A fat girl with a cigar? I certainly hope not. But, in the meantime, I’m revisiting an old love, having moved out of my flat and in with my parents.
If the travels of my twenties were like playing the field, moving back with my parents is like being castrated. Long gone is the freedom and the flirtatiousness of my young adult life. It’s back to curfews and cooked dinners.
But I can’t complain. The food is really very nice and there’s no where to go out anyway. It’s given me time to think. And yesterday I took our dog for a walk down memory lane. Well, actually Mill Farm Drive, the street where my parents live.
I found that either the houses have shrunk or I’ve grown. I’d walked the streets as a teenager but, for the first time, could see over its fences, and into the gardens and trampolines of its backyards. I saw not the past but what could be my future.
Young families, new money, old people – in relationships with their places more stable, more kind.
I wondered, when the fat lady in London sings, and my twenties become my thirties and those my forties (as the sequence goes) if I would find myself, on a street like this with a life more ordinary.
Marriages, mortgages, divorces, down payments…. Our relationships with people and places are complicated things! I’ll stick to having pets, I thought.
That was until I had to use the poop-a-scoop in my hand. If there’s one thing that’s true about all relationships: shit happens. You love, you lose and, occasionally, you pick up the shit and move on.