This morning, it was overcast and cool. Kind of awesome, actually. The sky was doing that thing where there are big swaths of gray, punctuated by irrational inlets of light. It was amazing and disconcerting. The threat of rain never made good and so by sunset, there was this beautiful scraping of purple and pink across the horizon that felt oddly unsettling. And then the moon. My God, the moon. You know the one that people have been posting about on Facebook for the last 24 hours? When I came home tonight at 9pm, it was brighter than I’d ever seen it — a perfect, mottled sphere behind a spray of clouds. It was mesmerizing, but I came inside overwhelmed by the strangest sense of loneliness. I had to put on an episode of Friends to keep me company.
Ten years ago, when I first moved here, I put on this new pair of car seat covers that I had just gotten as a birthday gift. I had wanted them for a long time, but after about a week driving with them, I had to take them off. Everything here was so new and unfamiliar — the town, the roads, the house, the co-habitating, the grocery store, the local news, the radio stations — that having car seats that I didn’t recognize tipped the scale. I never did replace the seat covers, but I did, of course, get more comfortable here. The anxiety that accompanied change and newness subsided, as I knew it would.
It feels like that now. Of course, it’s not quite the same. I am in a place I know very well now. There are lots of familiar people and I know more than one way to get most places. But there’s also a lot of new. New daily routines, new school, new teachers, new responsibilities. It feels almost like it did when I first moved here. I didn’t know which door to go in, where the school cafeteria was, even what to call the teacher. It must be doing more of a number on me than I realized. Because when the sky was a little bit different this morning, it turned the whole day on its head. Just like the seat covers.
I’m sure this will subside as the routine becomes more familiar. And I’m glad that I recognize it in myself it because, if I am feeling anxiety about all the change and newness, imagine what The Who is feeling. I think I’ve been pretty understanding and patient with him as he is settling in, but probably not enough. Maybe I’ll tell him the story of the seat covers and see if we can’t find some common ground to get us through these weeks.