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  • Writer's picturePatrice Locke

My house is for sale; how dare you try to buy my house?

I've lived in my current home for the longest time I've lived anyplace in my adult life. My daughter graduated from high school and had her graduation party in the backyard here. And when she got married, she tried her wedding dress on in my living room. This place is full of memories--most of them happy, all of them demonstrating some form of growth.

I became a better teacher here, hosted my first grandson and his family on their vacation. I wrote my first book here. Threw it away and then wrote three more. Had my first publishing experience here.

Had a retirement tea for my best friend here. Agonized here with her when some of my family issues boiled over into drama and near tragedy. Suffered the real tragedy when she died unexpectedly way too young and way too loved.

I'm ready to move on. Except for one thing, and that one thing is--indefinable. I want to experience a new place, encounter new people, maybe be a different person myself. I'm sure of that.

So why am I wishing I could stay here and be someplace else at the same time? Inexplicable. I don't write science fiction or fantasy, and I live in the real world. Know logically that I can't be here AND someplace else.

But aren't we all here and someplace else at once--inside? You might believe you can't be college-aged and retired at the same time. But I kind of feel as though I am those things inside because all the people I've been on my way here, recent graduate, news reporter, new mother, old mother, dog lover, homeowner, independent woman, new teacher, old teacher, grandmother, and now a full-time writer. All of those former identities are still inside me--where the decades nudge up against each other vying for my attention. I have to placate them--'Yes, you were my favorite. And so were you. You made me laugh and you left me in tears."

Meanwhile the college-aged me wants to listen to David Bowie, Elton John, Cat Stevens, and Neil Young, while the twenty-first century me wants Beethoven's seventh symphony over and over along with Dvorak's New World Symphony even though that second movement makes me cry. And the young mother me wants to sleep uninterrupted while the old me misses those days when I was such a crucial being to some other people. So I guess it's not surprising that I think I can be in two places at once. I'm an expert at being here and there and everywhere all at once.

I can't stop wishing logistics would let me live in New Mexico and Idaho simultaneously, ignoring the six hours it takes to fly and the sixteen hours it takes to drive between the two. I don't remember the artist who sang "Torn Between Two Lovers," but I sure get the drift of the meaning now. I want to be all the ages I've been in all the places I've lived with all the people I've loved--all at once. If I figure out how to make that happen I'll phone you and give you directions. And I'll meet you in Detroit and Albuquerque, on the corner of Boise and East Lansing in 1984 and 2018.

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