venerdì, ottobre 18, 2013

Misanthropy at bay

Well, here we are in Victoria. Staying with my father-in-law over the weekend since we don't move into the new place until Wednesday and even cheap hotels are expensive in Melbourne. I'd say all the hard bits - like a three-day drive south, packing and getting the house clean after finding tenants, and finding a new place to live - are all done.

Wednesday we signed for the new place, after Godzilla and I spent the day in our new neighborhood, Reservoir, eating at local restaurants, playing in the playground and quizzing other parents and children about the area - well, I quizzed, Godzilla touched their hair. It looks great. I mean the IGA down the street alone shits all over L______ in terms of lifestyle. It's probably the most woptastic neighbourhood in Melbourne, which as far as I'm concerned is great, and 80% of everybody who isn't a wop looks to be some other kind of non-caker. That's how you find the neighborhoods with the good food - the ones where the freshest immigrants can still afford to live. Not that we chose Reservoir for lifestyle on purpose. After a process of elimination based on relative safety, being in the cheap inner public transport zone, and still being in our budget (rent income from the L____ house minus agent's commission minus gardening costs), that pretty much left Reservoir. Still, I'm pleased.

I wonder both when and if I'll miss L_____. I expect I'll miss the house soon. The F-word is already feeling odd about how different people are living there - I'm just glad they're paying rent I consider exorbiant. As far as the town itself goes . . . you know how recent memory can occur - almost like looping film as though your brain is processing no longer being in a place and carrying out normal routines? And while there's usually something rather sweet or wistful about that, everytime my L_____ loop plays and I cue myself up to feel sweet or wistful, since it WAS beautiful, what with the plants and the birds - I realize the loops are empty. There's nobody in them.

That's not to say I wasn't fond of people there and don't have fond memories of people there but the memory loops are so devoid of people. Just walks on empty streets to and from the grocery store and runs in sports fields, as I did for hours and hours, with no fucking people in them. Frankly, it's creepy. Nearly post-apocalyptic. But that's pretty much how it was, since everybody was in a car all the time. I could walk all the way from our house to the town center, a good half-hour, without seeing more than one or two other people on foot.

My brain my be processing the difference with Melbourne, which is so full of people walking around. People using the parks, people using the sidewalks, people using the trains and trams. I'm sure at some point my misanthropy will kick in and I'll be sick of the sight of them. But for the moment it's just such a relief. Like waking up from an unsettling dream. If you have to live in a country at the end of the world I guess it's better to do it with a few million other people.

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