Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home is where the TV is.

Thomas Wolfe once wrote that you can't go home again. Clearly he never had to move back in with his parents in a pinch, like I did last week. I know there's this whole pop culture thing about skulking home, this notion that it's supposed to be funny-sad, like when a clown has to move back in with HIS parents. Iain Reid captured that sense of feeling like the butt of your parents' jokes in his hilarious, wonderful, heartbreaking memoir, One Bird's Choice, which I read in preparation for my own move back to the nest. Everyone should read his book, because it is fantastic, and he is a solid dude, as I learned when I interviewed him for last fall's Kingston Writersfest. He writes about how his father spends an afternoon shredding all his elementary school valentine cards and then drags him to the gym, and about the post-it notes his mother leaves on the cheese drawer so he'll know which cheese not to feed to the cats. Seeing as how I am sitting at my parents' living room table surreptitiously drinking their wine and eating a mango because my mom left a note next to it instructing me to chow down, these stories make me feel like I am less alone.

All self-deprecation aside, though, I worry that I might actually fall on the other end of the spectrum. I don't really mind being back home. In fact, I kind of love it, to an alarming degree. After years of living alone, I love coming home to some company, and some dinner on the table. I love basic cable, although my addiction to Come Dine With Me is reaching fever pitch. I love walking down the street with my dad to go skating at the park. I love hanging around on Sunday mornings drinking seventeen cups of coffee I didn't have to brew myself. I love that nobody knows my phone number. Friends, this is getting dangerous.

In conclusion, hey there, Hamiltonians. We should really hang out. My parents are away till Friday--want to come over tomorrow night? I can offer you free Grand Marnier and a television that will not migrate too far from the Slice network.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last things.

Everything's boxed up and ready for the movers tomorrow. I am currently conducting business from my Mobile Command Unit, which is essentially a stack of milk crates and a couple of yoga blocks. My fridge is home to one clementine and half a jar of salsa, and I am on my fourth coffee of the day. It's Zero Hour, friends: that delightful point in the relocation process where you've taken the curtains off the windows so the neighbours can watch you weep openly as you stuff another loose screwdriver into the box marked "miscellaneous fragile" and wonder what the hell you are doing.

I hate moving. It makes me antsy and weird. I'm a Cancer, which means I am an antisocial homebody. Living out of boxes is bad for my spiritual complexion. Every time I move, I wonder why I don't just run back home to my parents' house and hide away forever. Happily, this is exactly what I'm doing this round, so maybe, just maybe, this will be the last time I ship out of anywhere. I sure hope so.

On the other hand, I love moving. Leaving someplace behind gives you free license to nostalgise the hell out of it, and given that I've fallen harder for this little town than for any other place I've ever lived, I have a lot to think back on with fond wistfulness. Here's a rundown.

Best freelance gig: Kingstonist, the Limestone City's finest blog. Rarely does an editor give you complete support and editorial control, not to mention free wine. Come to think of it, I really should've taken more advantage of the opportunity to promote my Marxist-Leninist pro-labour agenda.

Best poutine: Pita Grill on Princess. Discovered lamentably in the twilight of my tenure.

Best place for an all-encompassing epiphany: Yoga Samatva.

Best place to see a show: The Grad Club. Thanks, Virginia,
for making sure I got to see all my favourite bands here.

Best road out of town: A few months ago, Highway 38 toward Holleford Road would've had my vote. I still urge you all to drive it sometime, because it's really pretty gorgeous. But times change and now I'm solidly in the Highway 10 camp, because it leads to Westport, sausage rolls, and eventually, my best buddy in the world. I'll always love driving north out of Kingston, regardless of which route I take. I love going from city to country so damned fast, disappearing into those rolling hills.

Best Plot To Take Over the Library Universe Breakfast Meeting Place: Star Diner. If you like your revolutions with a side of the world's best hash browns, this is the place for you.

Best friends: Aw, you know who you are. Thanks for the memories, my dear pals. You haven't seen the last of this lone wolf.