I'm currently sitting here looking at GoogleMaps to see just how far my friend and I will be driving tomorrow to reach our destination for New Year's.
Is it just me who finds maps amazingly fascinating? I live in the metropolis of a southern state in the US and like most other urbannites, I tend to live within my own bubble and forget that other people, cultures, and lifestyles exist beyond a 30-mile radius of me. But ever since I started seeing Dr. Shark--who lives about a hundred miles south of me most of the year--it's made me become more aware of the rest of the region around me.
I mean, truth be told, it's not like there are golden treasures to be found or captivating social studies to be made among the citizens or land outside my city... honestly. It's trees. And dirt. And farmland. That's it.
Nonetheless, I like looking at the map of my state. Well, used to like, at least. I liked looking at the bold print of my city's name and zooming into the familiar neighborhoods and streets and feeling like I'm actually flying over them, and then zooming back out to let my eyes drift down, down, down to the smaller, less prominent name of Dr. Shark's town. I liked recalling my most recent drive down those two-lane highways and passing that particular fruit stand or creek, finally reaching that happy house of his. I liked being with him in a safe small place, in a bigger unfamiliar place, within my own home state, which I've realized I haven't explored thoroughly enough.
Now though, as I'm looking at this map that I've happily stared at countless times over the past few months, I'm feeling pretty sorrowful. My city's name is still there, big and bold as ever, and I see his town where it always is. But now, all I can really focus on is that other name, a little bit more south and west, and in bigger font, where he'll probably move to in a month or so. And be with her. Because even further west is her town... And they want to be central in between his and hers... To be together.
"For the baby."
Playground riddles may have taught us that "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage," but that's never real.
To be real, it goes: First comes lust, then comes love, then comes break-up, then comes break-up sex, then comes break-up for realz, then comes rebound, then comes baby, then comes shacking up, then comes love again.
And then... No more me.