Sideways

Atlanta is surprising.  It is called “the city in the forest” because it is green; filled with trees and, where I live, parks.  Our neighborhood is lined with trees and dotted with sunken gardens.  I liked being in the center, walking distance from restaurants, museums, the subway, the theatre.

We are leaving.  We are leaving and we don’t know where we’re going and I’ve done this before, the last minute move — We’re going to Dubai! We’re going to New Jersey! We’re going to Oman! We’re going to Romania! No, return the language tapes, we’re skipping Romania!

It is hard to move, but it feels vital, like the rushing of blood through veins, air through lungs.  Movement means life.  It means not growing bored or tired or dull.

Atlanta was new pets and odd friendships and unexpected reunions and endless burgers and frustrating students and coming to grips with marrying an introvert.  (Apparently I “feast on his energy.”)

**

My husband time travels.  He looks at me, and he tells me that sometimes he pretends that he has traveled forward in time to this moment.  How happy his younger self would be to know he ends up with me.  He absorbs our daily moments. He is better at being present.  My mind is always two skips ahead, thinking of our next meal, our next outing, our next trip.  When I time travel, it is the opposite — I am coming from the future and observing us as we unwittingly cruise through our youth.  We are so young. We are childless.  The lines in our faces are not set.  I am Adele, lamenting my lost youth at the ripe old age of 28.

I am also a robot.  I autotask too much.  I don’t want to do this with my students, and I try to notice the details, to feel the moments.  Three of them are nonverbal.  I am talking the whole lesson, but the auditory language is not understood.  With a baby or toddler with hearing loss, we are trained to talk nonstop, to input language because they don’t absorb incidental language (non direct) like other children.  But with my older students who are nonverbal due to reasons beyond their hearing loss, it’s hard to say if the oral language is helping.

It is taxing, being present, but it is rewarding.

**

We are going to Europe for two months.  My husband and I.  And we feel extravagant when we tell people, because it can be hard to find time and money to do such a trip.  And I sometimes add that we are young and child/mortgage free so we need to take advantage of the opportunity.

But the reality is that while it is certainly a privilege to have the time and money to do extended traveling, this isn’t my final trip.  I will be traveling even when I do have a mortgage, and I will be strapping my babies to my husband’s back and we will go.  We will cut down on coffees and malls and stick to our dodgy phone plans that make us listen to the radio when we make calls, and we will drink cheap wine, and we will go.

 

 

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