It snowed the other day in Bellingham and I turned myself into a shut-in. This was the view from my patio.
So weird, isn't it? I lived in New York for the first 30 winters of my life, and we'll say that New York's winters aren't known so much for their mercy. The Blizzard of '96 is still legendary for it's inch per hour accumulation over 2 days. Yet the first -- and likely last --two-inch snowfall in Bellingham this winter has me freaking out. It's the biggest fear of my life: I've acclimated.
Oh the agony, I've gotten used to quiet nights and nature, to occasionally seeing deer grazing out my bedroom window. I've gotten used to friendly people and cheap rents and getting a cab when I need one. I've learned to live without the subway. So, so sad.
There was a point, exactly half my life ago, when the thought of living outside the five boroughs was like forced exile, and gave me hives and cold sweats. I thought I would die on the block where I grew up. (No, not in the negative way, either. I thought I would grow old and die there once. ) I thought it was my inalienable right to be an a**hole if I so chose. Not that I ever did choose, but still. Now, I've grown accustomed to space, to mild winters, to kind hellos and cordial goodbyes. I've gotten used to spoken conversations instead of grunted greetings and handshakes.
Now, I'm conscious of other people's presence. I wave hello and smile to strangers, despite a lifetime of instincts to the contrary. I've forgotten how to scowl. I go back to New York at least once a year to get my re-up of my New York-ness. I've been back two or three times this year already, and it didn't take. My god, what's next, tourist neck?
What's happening to me?!