Friday, April 2, 2010

Choices (61/90)

I had a chat with my Mom tonight on the phone as I was making the drive home from campus. She asked about Chicago, and without thinking first I told her it was great and that I think I could live there.

There was a long, empty silence.

"Chicago is a big city," she finally said.

I'd like to say that I was calm, but I was not.

"No, unh-uh," I said before I could get my bearings.

"I've already compromised with you guys a lot on this," I said tensely.

"It's cold there," she said calmly.

"I know, it was pretty cold when I was there," I replied.

There was another long pause. She was out of arguments against the city that I've chosen to be  my new home.

"I don''t want you to be so far away from me," she finally said.

This is the conversation that I've been avoiding. The one that we eventually laughed off instead of taking any further.

This choice is an unfair one; my love for my parents measured by the distance I set between us. If not with one or the other, It should be equal on all sides, is what I've been forced to feel. But we're talking geography here, not love or loyalty or affection.

Yet and still, I know what all of my moves mean to them. Both of them.

And I've done the best I can; I've been around for both of them. Seven years in Florida and then two years back here. Flip flopping at every break trying to make things even. But I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Because now, apparently this switching off thing never ends.

But I quit. I've got to quit.

I'm building my own life, wherever I want. Because that's what grown-ups do. Now, I just need to be free of the guilt of "choosing".

Damn you divorce.

People always said that it would get easier, and I believed them. Because distance and time heals things. Not so in the case of a kid with a heart split in two. The pieces separated by nearly 1,000 miles.

Not even when that kid grows up and finds the courage to build a life not quite in the middle of it all.


Post a Comment