I have a little robot from my first internship. I had written code for it. I treasured it and had carried it around from temporary lodging to temporary lodging, waiting for the day when I could finally unwrap it from its package and start using it. You see, I had sworn that I wouldn’t open it unless I had finally found home.
I have wrapped it back into its package again. There it will stay until I either find home or until I give up and decide to liberate the poor thing from its dark cage.
In San Francisco, a few blocks down Castro street, in Haight-Ashbury, lives a man. He comes highly recommended, so I drive there, past Harvey Milk’s legacy, past the LGBT flags bright and past many homosexual couples walking their dogs. I found him sitting on the stairs leading to his home, reading Whitman.
“Everything you need to know, you’ll find here,” he says, waving the book.
I don’t want to know anything. So I decide to steer clear of the book. He is terse but sympathetic, well-versed in listening and capable of great bluntness, and I leave him with more perspective than I came in with.
I take a walk through familiar jaunts before I drive back to my flat, and find that the City hasn’t yet managed to deal with that pothole off Grove Street. That grounds me even as I skip over it – there are things that haven’t yet changed.
Facebook is full of acquaintances posting their happily-ever-afters.
“The journey is what matters,” a friend tells me, even as I lose to him again at pool. He looks careworn and doubtful, nonetheless.
There is a world of difference between a journey and roving adrift, and I suspect that most of us would rather claim to be doing the first instead of the second.
“You need to compromise. You should be ready to settle for someone of this sort; you aren’t getting younger.”
It has little to do with age at this point, I think, and a lot to do with the lessons I have learned from what comes of trying to settle. So the robot goes back into its package, I try to transform from a flotsam roving adrift into a purposeful hobbit, and the City keeps its potholes intact to ground poor souls who have too much change in their lives all at once.