For the past few months, I've been preparing to move back to Vancouver. (Well, okay, preparing mentally, since I haven't really done the whole "packing" thing yet, even though my dad comes to get my car tomorrow). I had wrapped my mind around the fact that I would leave Champaign on June 14th, then have surgery on June 24th. You know how advent calendars give you a little chocolate every day until Christmas? Well, I had a little surgery advent calendar in my mind, except instead of getting chocolate, all I got was iron pills and an overwhelming sense of dread.
This morning, however, my world was rocked when I received a phone call from my surgeon's office letting me know that my surgery has been bumped to July 28th. It was like opening that last day of your advent calendar expecting a huge-ass chocolate Santa and instead finding a little piece of paper that said, "Christmas has been moved to January 27th. In lieu of chocolate Santa, please accept another month of anticipation and mall Christmas carols." Wrong and unnatural!
On one hand, I was disappointed. Leaving Champaign has actually been really hard for me, but I've had my goodbye party, said farewell to most of my friends, and reconciled myself to ripping off that big bandaid known as "the last four years of my life." I've spent weeks full of emo-ness mentally reenacting that scene from Thorton Wilder's "Our Town" where the chick is a ghost and is lamenting all the things she'll miss about earth ("Goodbye world! Goodbye to clocks ticking and my butternut tree...and Mama's sunflowers...food and coffee...and new-ironed dresses and hot baths..." ), except instead of clocks ticking and butternut trees, it was more like cheap bourbon, barbeque, $250 rent and fireflies. (I freaking love fireflies. They don't have them in Vancouver). I was mentally prepared to leave and I wanted to get the ass-reattachment show on the road.
On the other hand, however, I recognized an opportunity to cling harder to America. Even though my bags were packed, my apartment was sublet (subletted?), my dad was flying down to get my car and my cat had her own little kitty airplane ticket, I didn't have to leave. I could go up to Canada for a week for pre-op appointments and work-related stuff, (I'm off to Montreal soon for a tournament), then come back down for a whole month of rekindling my turbulent romance with the old U. S. of A. America and I could have one of those relationships where it's like "Oh, darling, I know we broke up because you cheated on me with my sister, but let's get back together because I'm lonely and have daddy issues, even though we both know that this will end badly. Turbulent relationships give my humdrum existence meaning!" You know, those people for whom the Facebook status "it's complicated" was invented.
Some might say, "But Arley. Aren't you just prolonging the inevitable? Why don't you just get it over with, move back to Vancouver and begin the chapter of your life entitled 'The Part Where Arley Goes to Concerts By Herself and Tries to Appear Both Receptive to New Friendships And Repellent to Drug Dealers/ Fetishists/ Men Who Believe "So, What's Wrong With You?" is an Acceptable Pick-Up Line'' Wouldn't that be the mature thing to do?" To you, I say: hells no. I have spent at least six months of the past year in bed (or at physio, being out-run by 95-year-olds, which is worse) and I am about to spend another god-knows-how-long doing roughly the same thing. I'm in a "months of bedrest" sandwich and I fully intend to make the filling of that sandwich be as exciting, entertaining and meaningful as possible. And if that means traveling back to Champaign for an extra month of seeing the people I care about...well....so be it.
Yes, it looks like I'm going to have to rebook my ticket on the Struggletown Express. The new plan is that I'm leaving Mika with A., going back to Canada for a week or so, (which will involve a trip to Montreal), then returning to Champaign for a month of couch-surfing, BBQ-eating, and hearing the phrase "hey, didn't you leave here a while ago?" from random people on the street. Because, hey, if my life wasn't relentlessly complicated, I wouldn't have anything to blog about.