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Building communities

Last night I read the next journal. While journal #1 was pretty much 1995 (or 1994 - 1995), journal #2 covers 1995 - 1999, a four year time span with huge gaps missing. It's an unpleasant read. It starts on an up note -- Daryk and I were still together, in love, happy -- and then goes through a monumental pile of crap -- the breakup, my introduction to heroin, my friends robbing me, Bob's death (the death of Bob the first, that is), Stoney's death, and Maggie's death.

But honestly, the most depressing part, for me, is the change in my tone when I moved from Chicago to Pittsburgh.

In Chicago I had a life. Places that I frequented, friends, a job that I dug, and apartment I liked ... and then all of a sudden I'm back in Pittsburgh with none of those things.

It got me to thinking about building communities, about building a life. When I first moved to Chicago, most of my friends were my roommate's friends, hand-me-down friends (sure, we both knew catbirdgirl and holzman at Antioch, but they were really much closer with her). But by the time I met Daryk, I was working at Facets, living on my own, and writing mostly about people I knew from work, or the neighborhood ... my friends, people who cared about me.

Now I've been in Pittsburgh for about 9 years, and it really took me until just two years ago to build a community here. Now I can go out and have that same thing I had in Chicago -- chance meetings with friendly acquaintances, waiters who recognize me at the restaurants I frequent -- that night out with Zocks, I seemed to know at least half of the people at BBT; two weekends ago with unixd0rk, we must've run into a good twenty people that I knew.

It's frustrating. It makes me sadder that I left a good life behind than that I fucked up that life by doing drugs. And it reminds me of something that I've only recently learned -- that it doesn't matter where you are.

Comments

lurpy
Mar. 16th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
"And it reminds me of something that I've only recently learned -- that it doesn't matter where you are."

I agree to an extent. I think that general things matter. I don't think I could ever live far from a city for any extended period of time without going insane. Some cities offer things that make you happy that other cities are limited in or might not offer at all. Etc.

As for the way things work socially, I agree that it doesn't matter where you are. I also think that we go through these social circles. We keep recycling our closest friends. For a while, we'll talk to certain friends a lot and put others on the back burner and then it will reverse. I know I'm going off on my own tangent and totally getting away from what you were trying to say but I'm just going with it. I'll shut up now.

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