It’s weird to move out of your house when you’re still living in it. This is what happens every year. Luke leaves for Alaska, and I bounce between my house or a friend’s or my parents’, depending on the night, depending on how much I’d like to be alone. This year is especially odd. My friend Lizzy is moving in tonight for two months, so I had to put all my stuff in four laundry baskets and drag them down to my parents’ house last night. Their house smells like growing up—cut grass and clean bathrooms, and when I stay there, a lot of my dreams are of the ten-years-younger me.
I work with students who are ten years younger than me right now. Some of my favorites are graduating this year, and I remember that excitement of going forward but not quite wanting to leave. That’s how I feel this time of year, too. When people start eating on patios, I pack my down coat into a duffle bag and switch out shorts for fleece pants. In Alaska last night, Luke was eating homemade swordfish sushi at a friend’s house that overlooks Silver Bay while I was waiting for Draino to undo the hair clogging our shower. I emptied out my closet. My mom worked her magic on the wood floors. I wish we had one of those vacuum cleaners that pops out of a little house and does it's own thing while you clean the sink.
As I piled dresses I won't wear this year into the closet in the study, the beginning of my book banged around inside my head. Do I start it here in Denver, with swimming, or do I start it in New Orleans, with leaving? I am ready for the next book about neither. I haven't written right here in so long because all I have time to write is different versions of the same thing--memories of coming and going, clothes in different closets, that start-of-summer feeling that no matter how hard I work, I'll still run out of time.
Every summer, when I talk to my mom from Alaska, I miss the freshly planted flowers and the privilege of the reappearing sun. When I talked to Luke last night, I longed for that last glance at the ocean, past 10pm and still white with sky.