the Bearded Companion mounts his bike, turns his back to Huntingdon, and begins his ride back to Brooklyn. I have spent six months staring at walls, staying up too late, sweating as I struggle our cat to the vet, and watching everyone else I love get kisses. I have, at times, been sad. However, on the eve of his departure, I can’t help feeling sad. AGAIN. FOR A DIFFERENT REASON. (Maybe this is because, tonight, seven years after it debuted, Roy and I finally watched Brokeback Mountain and sipped soup and got mega weepy.)
Because we belong there. I too have felt the pain of turning my back to the corn, the river, the gridded town that curves at the bottom, the hill with the hospital, the empty alleys. We still get mail at Apartment #6. Huntingdon is a land of nothing, a land of plenty. It has more secrets than I’ve seen in any place. It holds my loved ones, and the memories of others who have passed through, loved ones who will pass through again. Sleeping there on recent visits, I dreamt in the day’s early morning hours, before dawn, before the sun would rise on Jake Weller’s back as he spun back east, that we lived there again. Sundays, always nostalgic for some reason, would especially pain me on my visits there this spring, summer, fall. I remembered coming home, making bread, radio, tea, the sound of the train, candles at night.
The ridge and mist. Honey 106 FM. Broccoli Cheese, extra pickles. Ride:30. Standing Stone. Flagpole Hill. Moore Street, Church Street, Mifflin Street, Washington Street, Penn Street.
Huntingdon is so far from a place where I just went to college. Its corners hold so much of me, tempt that I could come back, that I could start again and pick up where I left off, grow with it, build it, flesh it out, contribute to its mystery and humor and heart.
Until then, I am here in Brooklyn lying in bed with one window open, a Roy on the floor (we are both heartbroken Huntingdon refugees), getting a slamming art degree, dancing circles around all my friends (not in a one-upper-way, in a way where I just want them all to know how enthusiastically I love them and thus I must circle them), biking hard and sometimes into things, watching the sun move.
This week, keep our cycling Weller in your thoughts, specifically see him wheeling between homes, the both of us not knowing what to do about much in particular.
Here are is Olive, Roy, the current state of affairs.