I am not unfamiliar with the sentiments attached to moving. I move home every summer; crate my books, fold all my laundry, sift through which pillows are to come or stay. I also move back every autumn, for the last three years, to this apartment. This has become home to me. Small "h" home, mind you, but a home just the same. It's the place I've matured. It is in this space that I have ripened.
Perhaps this is the root of my nostalgic trance that I've been in the last few days, trying with little success to package my life for the last time in this city. It's a lonely project, but one I feel must be done in solace. Saying good-bye to a place is a different philosophical experience than bidding a person, even a friend, farewell. With people, the parting is always a mutual weight; feelings are shared between, both are impacted and when affection is mutual, so is the sadness. But saying good-bye to a place is different.
When I leave North Bay, the buses will not miss me; the instability of the transit schedule and the weary smile of each driver will not be altered by my sudden disappearance. When I leave, the Salvation Army which has so often contributed to my wardrobe (including the oh-so-infamous Christmas Socks) will continue to sell their long-ignored treasure to those who need an economical cheer-up. My leaving will not change how the sunset casts a fabulous gold-yellow light into the living room of 512 O'Brien Street, Apartment 2 at that certain time of day... not in the same way that the absence of me will change the beautiful women who will live here without me next year. The city will not miss me (but I hope that they will).
So, saying good bye to this place, because it is so strong and unmoving and so tragically emotionless, must be done alone. The boxes and packing drawers, the tape I can't find and a full season of NUMB3RS, the leftovers in the fridge and the carrot cake I'm thinking about making: we must do this, together and alone, in the strange camaraderie of inanimate acquaintanceships. Pack, into boxes.
Back into boxes.