“Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.”
— Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Tweek vs. Craig
D and I have often talked about moving back to the Midwest to be closer to home and our families. It’s happening. We are leaving town in exactly two weeks for Small Town, Northern Ohio, pop. 24,000.
This is the small town of my grandma, uncles, aunts and cousins, while my parents and brother live 45 minutes away in Slightly Bigger City. The family needs me, their daughter, right now – my grandmother grows fainter by the second, my mother is slated for major back surgery and my father should not have to deal with this by himself. D’s dad, whom we’ve not been able to spend much time with since D’s mom passed away, and his family are only a few hours’ drive away in Wisconsin. And, as most of you know by now, Loki and Lex will be three hours away in Cincinnati. How is this all possible? A growing Ohio technology company offered me a really nice research & development position and D has been given the go-ahead to commute between Ohio and Florida, where his job moved recently, for a while.
It’s hard to fathom leaving New Orleans, its wonderful culture, color, cuisine and craziness, and all of you, my amazing friends and blogger buddies here. Without you guys, the Exile would have been truly unbearable and, on our return, we made something good together. New Orleans is my love. I died a little when I told some of you and the wonderful Krewe du Vieux organization that we’re leaving. During yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, we walked up and down Magazine St., ran into dozens of friends at various rocking parties and ate some of the best food America has to offer. Where else can we own the streets like this? Where else can all of this happen? Later, listening to Izzy Stradlin’s Shuffle It All in our kitchen, D and I wept like little children.
But, at what cost do we own this city? I’m not going to miss people being killed outside my house, friends dying or being assaulted across the city, gunshots every night, hurricane evacuations, our dysfunctional mess of a city and state government and the crap crappier crappiest recovery (not to mention my own deep-seated pathology, the gigantic fraking pterosaurs we call roaches). That, and our resultant emotional deflation, we can get away from for a while and spend our energy on family. New Orleans is my love, but I’ve broken up with people for less.
So, with Loki moving to Cincy and me to Near Cleveland, what is it about the I-71 corridor in Ohio that is so attractive, you ask? Come on up and find out, if you are out that way. You will always have a home at mine. (No, seriously. If you drive north for the next evac, stay with me. Don’t be dumb, it’s free room and board. And cocktails.)
There’s always Jazzfest and Rising Tide 4 – Bigger, Longer and Unshitr-ed, folks. Meanwhile, D and I will ply our midwestern neighbors with jambalaya and sidecars, play them our finest music and let them know what New Orleans is really all about.