Monday, April 18, 2011

The Non-Existent Exile

The last time I visited these pages, I was expressing my thanks to those near and dear to my family and I. Despite the delay in my follow-up, I'm here to do much the same.

First and foremost, so much has happened since November that it's almost unfair for me to expect to recount all of it in a palatable, clear manner. So rather than make a half-hearted attempt, I'll sum it up in a few words: I headed out to California, had a blast, and realized Kaia and I will be together forever.

Those certainly sound like monumental, heady, heavy words, and while in one sense they are, they aren't really, since there's really nothing new that hasn't already transpired or that we didn't already know. However, what's inevitable in the near and not-so-near future and what's as clear as yesterday, today and tomorrow aren't always one and the same. Put another way, things became much clearer and much more in focus for, I believe, us both, and I think that essentially clarified where we were, where we are and where we'll be in 30 years' time, god willing.

The non-fanfare version of the above is we finally figured out how to make a 3,000 mile distance disappear, and Kaia is now an official NYC resident. We're not yet engaged, but all that stuff is up and coming. The bottom line is we're enjoying being near each other without having to check our schedules and calendars for the next return trip or must-do item before one of us has to pack up our life and put our proximity on hold. It's very surreal to be living so close to one another, and the fact we can spend time together without having to watch the clock or feel an urgency to cram a week or two or three of life into several days is a nice luxury that doesn't quite feel permanent yet. Her place came together very quickly -- everything is now moved in, unpacked, organized, dusted off and -- like her -- perfect. There are some things missing or out-of-place -- we still haven't worked out all the details with a couple pieces of furniture and her artwork is still not completely arranged and organized -- not for lack of trying but for the sheer quantity of artwork -- but once her walls are appropriately adorned with art and various pictures of her family and her life and the two of us, she'll feel like an actual NYC resident and I'll stop wondering subconsciously about her return ticket, which I know -- consciously -- doesn't exist.

It's a very odd feeling, because we've both grown so accustomed to a momentary burst of life being interrupted by a month or two of telephones, emails, IM's and text messages. However, speaking for us both, the best part about it is that now that we're on a permanent burst of life, so to speak, everything is the same except we can actually exhale and focus on enjoying being close to one another and not on our schedules, the return trip, good times for future visits, or anything else.

The one thing which was difficult for us both was her being far from her family, but that too is being addressed. We've gotten her parents a webcam -- her sister already has one -- and they both will be able to Skype video-conference with her once she's settled in and her place is all set. We've been sending pictures of the periodic progress of her apartment to her parents so they are part of the process, but until they actually get a chance to see her and know she's happy, I think they feel a bit detached.

Unfortunately, I know the feeling.

In either case, being that this coming evening (Monday, April 18) is our first official holiday (Passover) as an NYC couple, we're going to head up to Connecticut to spend time with my family. My grandmother will also be there, and we've whipped up a bunch of converted home movies so we can (and she can) see first-hand where I came from and what I looked like as a wee lad. In other words, we're going to do the things we'd normally do as two people who would rather spend time with each other than anyone else in the world. We're just doing it in far closer proximity than we had.

So the odd, strange feeling of wondering about the next return trip, or the schedules, or the calendar being our enemy, is no longer. Now it's just a question of wondering how we'll manage to fit a lifetime together into our remaining lifetime.

In comparison to where we've been, I think we're both beyond confident that it won't be tough to figure it out.

Despite all the urgencies we've faced together while apart and together, now the only urgency is to enjoy the lack of urgency.

And that's just fine by me.

For those of you who celebrate Passover, hope your holiday is as special and wonderful as we hope ours will be.