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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.


Mar. 16th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
Re: roots: not just a made for tv mini-series
I could go back now as well, though I no longer really have a need to (except to visit Daryk, which may happen again this year at Christmastime -- we'll see).

When I was first back here, my father was so sure that if I ever went back to Chicago, it would be a lock that I'd be a junkie again in no time. He somehow missed the fact that what I missed so much was everything else -- the job, the people, the life I'd built.

Like I told n0thingman today at lunch: reading that notebook was like watching a movie where you knew that the heroine was going to make a terrible choice, and you hoped hoped hoped that she wouldn't ... even though it was my life that I was reading and I knew exactly how it was going to turn out, I still hoped for a different ending.

I wish so much that someone could have explained to me then that moving away would mean giving up all of the good parts of my life -- not just the bad stuff.

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