I’m back in the Great
White Wet North for the weekend, a couple hours away from a shift at my old job.
Desperate times, desperate measures, yada, yada, yada.
It feels weird. Amazing, but weird.
I’ve been gone about 20 days which, in the world of social networks, is no time at all. The hugs have been polite, the excitement contained to a dull roar.
Mikel’s back. Shocker.
That’s kind of the way it is with the locals. People who live here, the ones in it for the long haul, treat people that move like a joke. A punchline. A 50s sitcom husband yelling at the wife’s taxi cab, “Oh, you’ll be back! Mark my words!” And, honestly, it wouldn’t be the first time, I boomeranged back to the welcoming arms of Grand Marais.
But it’s different this time. I can’t go back to my apartment and have a cup of coffee on the deck–the family that moved in the day we moved out might not take to kindly to that. And I had to circle around the downtown a few times to find a parking spot! Where I used to just shake my head at those minivans that drove by me 4 or 5 times, taking the tour, waiting for a spot to open up–today I was that schmuck.
A tourist. Non-residential.
Even though I know my way around the town, and despite bumping into someone I know at every place I’ve stopped, there’s still something…wrong. The town seems to know I’m not one of them anymore.
Yeah, it hurts. A beautiful sword with a sharp edge. But, to be fair, I chose to leave.
For today, for the moment anyway, I’m camouflaged: with my locally-roasted coffee and my fresh baked rhubarb crumble from the farmers market, holed up in my favorite writing spot, the town probably thinks all is as it should be. A familiar ache in its knee.
Just here while it rains.