• Aperture: f/7.1
  • Focal Length: 24mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter: 1/320 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama


Six years of my life erased by four syllables.

It’s not that I am being evicted — my lease just isn’t being renewed. A faint sliver of distinction that slices to the bone.

I have no one to blame but myself. I have been walking a narrow precipice of feast and famine for too long. Time finally caught me without one last rabbit to pull from my hat.

It is tempting to not write about this at all. I could swallow it down, keep it to myself, smile and post pretty pictures of nothing. Certainly that would allow me to keep a small measure of pride, but I am not proud of myself. Tepid truths won’t make it better.

I paid the rent late one time too many.

I have less than a month to find a place where I feel safe, comfortable, happy, home.

My afternoons are spent trudging from one house to the next, hoping to find something as magical as what I am leaving behind. I iron my best clothes and wash my hair until it is shiny and clean. I put on perfume and makeup and smile at myself in the mirror before I walk out the door. I feel like I’m dating again, a reluctant divorcee pushed into a world I never thought I would see again.

I spend my days pushing the fears out of my head, ignoring the litany of self-retribution that threatens to overwhelm me. But when my head hits the pillow at night, it all comes rushing back. My fault. This is my fault. So ashamed. So disappointed. So lost. So scared. So sad.

Strange things send me into paroxysms of tears. I think about the baby birds that were just born in the nest above my porch swing. I will be gone before they learn to fly. I think about the maple leaves that cover the ground in November and the gladiolas that I will never see bloom.

I remember the way I spent my first month here staining bookcases on my front porch, the morning I shopped for my wallpaper, the afternoon I paced the floor in my living room and dialed a number that would change my life forever. I remember the way Nicholas carried our porch swing home on his back and the night that I sat at my desk and haltingly, drunkenly tapped out a 17-email response to a three-word question — 31 years of silence broken by one person who cared enough to ask.

There have been so many tears and so much laughter and so much love and so much misery contained within these four walls that I can’t believe I’m really leaving. I can’t picture anyone else here. I can’t picture myself anywhere else.

So I write. I write and I shoot because it helps me deal. It gives me something concrete to do. It gives me a measure of control over my life at a time when everything is falling apart. Some day, I may want to look back on this time period and remember it.

But somehow, I have a feeling that I won’t forget.

Music: Game Over by Last Amanda.

Pic of the day: “No Parking” by Brian at Panhandlin’.

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