Scratchpad
02 Jul 2020

If Their Hearts Were Dying That Fast They'd Have Done the Same As You

I don't know how to disentangle what I feel from what I think I ought to feel.

Thirty days from today I'll be on my way to a new home in another state, taking with me only what I can fit into my car. When I've done this before – many, many times – there's been a sense of excitement and relief: I'm getting out of here, I'm moving on, shaking the dust from my shoes and setting out to see what's on the other end of the road. And so on.

And I should be especially ecstatic that this year's move will take me out of the South. This is my second sojourn in Dixieland, but wverything is exactly as I remember it from college. And, let me tell you, without the novelty of being young and far from home, all that's left to see is the ugliness. What in the South is not bleak is nauseating – crushing poverty alternates with soulless franchise ghettoes and neighborhoods of contemputous yuppie new wealth who came seeking cheap land and low, low Red State taxes. I don't want to stay here. Fuck this town. I have a bleeding sympathy for the poor souls who cannot get out, and I am grateful for my good fortune that I can.

And yet, for all that, what I feel about this move is fear. I wasn't sure what emotion I would put at the end of that sentence until I got there. Multiple feelings apply, all wrapped together in a fat netting of grief – but fear came out of the oven. To torture the metaphor a little.

Everything is good. The necessary pieces for a new life came together very quickly, and without any trouble, as if pre-ordained.

So why am I afraid?