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Josh Fredman

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Six Years Ago [Feb. 2nd, 2017|04:44 pm]
Josh Fredman
'Twas six years ago in the weest hours of tomorrow that I got on a bus and traveled to Texas, and unwittingly brought to a close the old era of my life and began a new one.

There's a lot I remember about those whirlwind few days. I remember eating dinner at a restaurant with Kendra six years ago tonight, in Aiken, the last time (to date) I would ever see her in person.

I remember immediately losing something important as soon as I got on the train and spending half the ride to Atlanta trying to find it. I remember almost getting stranded at Atlanta and nearly losing all of my belongings because of hostile indifference and lack of clear communication from the bus driver, who had been called in early (it was about 3 am, mind you) to do a substitute shift. (Even despite that mitigating circumstance, the fact of nearly losing all of my belongings and being stranded in a city with only a few dollars was enough to convict me never to ride long-haul American bus services again.)

I remember seeing more of the South's poverty along the ride and at the stations. I remember being stranded at the Dallas bus depot because of the blizzard, and then being rescued by Amy and Amtrak, and getting on a train later that day and heading for Alpine. I remember stinking from all the sweating I did and no shower!

I remember seeing Amy's parents' old apartment in Alpine, and I remember Foo barking at me like I was going to invade his homeland (which I promptly did). I remember meeting Amy's dad for the first time and learning "Only winners no losers." And I think I went to a Unitarian service my second day there? Not entirely sure on that one.

I stayed in that apartment for a week or so before finally moving up to the Mountain. I remember Amy driving me, in her cute little red Cruiser, up the road from Alpine to the Observatory. I remember asking her to stop at all the historical markers along the road, and she said it was cool to have someone new to do that with, because she had long stopped paying attention to them.

Once I finally did transfer my flag to the Mountain, I remember meeting opilions for the first time. There were lots in the hall, and even a couple in the kitchen sink! (Thirsty, no doubt, and then there's no way for them to get out.)

That was a wonderful time. By circumstance, it corresponds neatly enough, six years on, to the time of my arrival in Bellingham. I don't have the same wide-eyed elation now that I did then. For one, I am sad to say, I'm just that much older and more wizened from life's setbacks. But for another, I didn't have a dear friend to see me off from the place I left behind, and I don't have a dear friend waiting to welcome me into their life here. So it's a much lonelier transition, yet no less important.

I do have opilions, tho! I actually found a local opilion right here in the apartment on my first night. It was super small. I couldn't put it outside because of a cold snap, and I didn't want to put it in the opilion terrarium since it was so little: I knew I would never see it again! I gave it some water but it wasn't interested. I put it in a cup with the intention of thinking of something else to do with it the next day, but a day later it had died! =[

So, does that count as a good omen or a bad one? Maybe just a powerful object lesson: Don't wait to get stuff done. To revive my spirits, meanwhile, I discovered the next day that yet another generation of baby opilions has hatched in the terrarium. That's exciting and unexpected. I am going to find something to do with the opilions here in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!