These are the days that must happen to you

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.

~~~

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