Take Me Home, Country Road

It’s taken me a while to get into the correct frame of mind to write this. I suppose I may as well get straight to the point. The mobster is moving back to Virginia. We’re going back to the long distance thing.

Why? The route was a source of disappointment to him. It took him about six weeks longer to get started than he had originally planned. He can’t stand the district manager who acts as though he works for him and has absolutely no bedside manner, for lack of better word. The tax stuff every year stresses him out. His truck keeps breaking down. Small things like coils needing to be replaced but still… When that happens he’s waiting a week or more for his truck to get repaired and in the meantime he’s paying a couple hundred dollars to rent a truck so he can deliver. Oh yeah, and he went through a five week period where he didn’t get paid. He sold $48,000.00 worth of product and was somehow upside down. He’s still not sure what happened. When he gets paid he does very well for himself, especially for only three days of work. But those weeks when you don’t get paid…

Despite all of the issues he had with the route the main reason he’s moving back is because he misses his kids. As he said one time, “Even if I only see them every few months at least I’m there.”

He’ll see them more than every few months when he goes back. His son and his wife have moved into the apartment above the garage while their house is being built. His daughter and her best friend are still living in the house so he’ll see her all the time. We both expect her boyfriend to propose to her within the year. He graduates with his Masters in December and we figure he’ll do it sometime between Christmas and her birthday in March. She’ll be living in the house at least another year, maybe two.

I’ve known he was planning on moving back since early March. We just didn’t know when it was going to happen. Turns out the guy who sold him the route is buying it back. The sale is supposed to be finalized in about two weeks. He hasn’t said yet exactly when he plans on returning but I’m sure it won’t be almost 3 months later like it was when he sold the route in Virginia and moved up here. I would guess a week, maybe two, after the sale. It might depend on how quickly he sells his truck as well.

As I said in the beginning it has taken me a while to get into the right frame of mind. I spent the first two weeks crying every day. I didn’t eat much the first 3 or 4 days. I’ve only been able to concentrate on my job properly in the last 2 weeks or so. I still have days where I get teary eyed, if only for a few minutes. I’m really going to miss him. I’m going to hate not seeing him every day.

We watched all 8 seasons of Pysch. It took us a couple of weeks because we only managed about 2 or 3 episodes at a time. I watched it when it was on originally but loved watching it again. That’s something we won’t do anymore. When you only have a weekend or two each month you tend to spend that time running around making memories. You don’t drive five hours to see each other and then spend the entire weekend watching TV.

I’m going to miss meeting him downtown on Wednesday nights for raid hour, or having him come meet me for lunch on the days he doesn’t work. I’m going to miss going out to breakfast and/or visiting wineries on the weekends. I’m going to miss watching TV with him and spending lazy days with him. I’m going to miss going on walks with him and telling him about my day. Sure, I suppose when we talk in the evening he’ll ask me how my job went but it won’t be the same. I’m still really really sad about it.

I also regret all the things we’re not going to get to do that I thought we still had time to do- like watch all the Marvel movies in order. That’s not going to happen. There are too many of them and who wants to spend their one weekend a month watching movie after movie? I regret not going to the Farmer’s market more often. I regret not taking more weekend trips once we could pick from many other different cities and not just Columbus or Chillicothe. Chicago, Indianapolis, Nashville (Indiana, not Tennessee), Mackinaw Island, Grand Rapids, St. Louis. All trips we won’t make. I regret not getting a chance to eat at The Bucket out on the deck, enjoying the nice weather and the view of the river. We’ve been there once or twice, but we’ve always had to eat inside. So many things I thought we were going to have a chance to do that we won’t.

But, getting into the right frame of mind also means asking myself the hard questions. And each time it comes down to this: I’d rather spend a weekend or two with him each month than spend every day with someone else.

We’ve had conversations about me possibly moving down to where he is. I would still be about an hour or two away. I will not move to the armpit of Virginia. I refuse to have to drive an hour to go anywhere or do anything. They drive an hour to go to Olive Garden. No one should ever drive an hour to go to Olive Garden. Ever. Cheesecake Factory? I get that. Macaroni Grill? Carrabba’s? All choices I could get behind. But Olive Garden? Absolutely not.

I’ve lived life in a small town. Twice, in fact. I am not a fan. Even if I don’t use everything available at my fingertips I still like having a variety of options.

I was thinking Charlotte might be a nice option but the housing prices there are way out of my league. Other potential options are Roanoke or Greensboro. Maybe even Winston-Salem.

We’re playing it by ear for now. Who knows where our kids will end up or how much time we’ll actually get to spend with them once they’ve built their own lives?

My daughter keeps saying she and her boyfriend plan to move to Utah (although she did say she would be willing to move to the Carolinas). My son doesn’t want to go south and wants to remain with his friends. He would be willing to move to Utah if I moved, but I can’t afford to move back to Utah. My mom, of course, doesn’t want me to go but I think I could possibly persuade her to come with me. To Virginia or North Carolina, that is. I don’t think all the rum in the world could get her to move to Utah.

I don’t see the mobster’s kids ever moving from where they currently live. His oldest son, if he doesn’t remain in New Hampshire, could potentially end up moving more towards the D.C. area and his youngest son who is currently in West Virginia could end up moving back to the area. In other words, I don’t see his kids going to all four corners of the world to set about their lives. They’re pretty much Virginia bound.

I mention this only because at one point he said maybe we could pick a place that was central to all of our kids. I don’t think that’s pragmatic when all of his kids are in one location and it’s mine that are spread around the country.

But we’ll see. Maybe Rock Star will end up in Utah and I’ll only get to see her two or three times a year. Maybe Picasso will move out, find a nice girl to settle down with, and I’ll only see him once a month because he’s busy. Who knows?

One thing I do know is no matter what happens I will be fine. That was one of the big hurdles I had to finally leap in order to be okay with all that’s happening. When I finally told myself, “Sam, you are going to be fine no matter what. You’ve had far worse things happen and you’ve survived,” that was when I could finally breathe again. And as the mobster has been saying all along, “This isn’t the end of us. Nothing’s changed. We’re just going back to the way it was before until we come up with a new plan.”

So that’s where we’re at. After 8 months of being together every day we’re going back to long distance.

Phrase for the year: Be here, be still. Boy, I really know how to pick those goddamn words and phrases, don’t I?