Saturday, October 13, 2007

Some Things I Miss

I'm in Pittsburgh, again, or still. Fall break was this past week, and I haven't gone back home yet (though tomorrow's the day). I love law school—I'm even through what I think is the most stressful part now—but I've stayed away long enough this time that I remember what my life was like before, and what I miss now that I'm in Virginia.

I miss quittin' time. You know, that time of day, on a weekday, when you can call anyone you want and not worry about interrupting them, because you know they're at the grocery store, watching bad TV, having a beer in a noisy bar, or doing something other than working. We don't really have that in law school, and I gather that much of the legal profession doesn't either. But yesterday, James called me at 5:00 when he was done with work and asked me if I wanted to go meet some friends of his for a beer, and we did, and it was great. And the day before that, he picked me up after he was done with work (I had spent the whole day studying) and we went and got dinner at a Filipino place and then went home and lay around watching Doctor Who. I just... miss that. Maybe what that means is I need to impose a dinner-hour "quittin' time" for myself, but I have a feeling it won't be the same, because most of my friends either get their best work done in the evenings or go home then and have dinner with their spouses. And I wouldn't want to interfere with that.

I miss the crazy bigness of this place. It's not the biggest city I've called home—both Seattle and DC are about half again as big, population-wise—but it's probably the one where I've done the most exploring, and certainly the one where I've been the most mobile. The other night, in deciding where to go for an after-work drink, we first had to pick a neighborhood. Neighborhoods are everything around here. They all feel so different from one another. We picked Regent Square, and went and drank East End Brewing Company beers on draught at the Map Room, and walked in the dusk and drizzle. Living here is like living in twenty different cities at once.

I've missed the view of the Birmingham Bridge over the Mon from the Boulevard of the Allies, driving east out of town. Some days it's more magnificent than others, but it's always remarkable. Sometimes it's the hugeness of the overcast sky that gets me; other times it's the brilliance of the sunlight shining on the face of the river. Every once in a while it's the fact that I can see so many different lanes of traffic, all going different places at different speeds. It's an arresting view, and I miss it.

And of course, I miss James. I mean, I'm going to see him in a couple of hours, but of course what I mean is that I miss having him with me day-to-day. He's not perfect, and neither am I, but together we are darn close to it. He pushes me to be my best self without even trying, because I want so much to be good to him that I resist my tendencies to be lazy, and selfish, and uncommunicative. We work well together. We live well together. And I'm still learning more about him, and more about how to get along with him. Three years now we've known each other. We've learned to be patient, to give each other the benefit of the doubt, to express ourselves better. It's nice, and I miss him.

So I'm moving back here. Not now, of course, but I'll be here for the summer, and I'll move back after law school. No sense in being cryptic anymore since I've accepted the job offer. I'm thinking about neighborhoods now, and where I want to settle down, at least for a few years.

It's good to have settled on a home.


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