i've been saying so many goodbyes lately i don't know whether i'm starting something or ending everything. // how many times have i made fun of the newage yippie notion of "closure" when so much of life just moves then moves again? can't say i can count the times, but lately i've been understanding closure as something other than the word would indicate. more like affirmation and attention. // one friend i see pretty regular says "hey j, you'll say goodbye and then i'll get an email eight months from now." eight friggin months! pshah fuuuu, and i know the jib and tack and slant of wind, but really all these goodbyes are about saying how much to intricate devilish individuals i've loved over the past few years, so's they know. just so's they know how much i've changed and learned and all sorts of crazy stuff, and appreciate by god their presence period // god, i've been so lucky. // i just remembered tonight how i went dancing a few months ago at a country dance club just down the way, and there was this old gentleman standing in the corner of the dance floor, looking dashing and leering simultaneous. when he asked me to dance, i thought briefly: man, this is how it goes in my life, all i get to do is dance with leering men in the shadows of a dance floor i'm not sure i belong upon. but then I danced with him and he knew all the swoops and underloops and it.felt.so.good to be out there on the dance floor with someone who knew the dance and wanted to do it. moving underneath his white-whiskered arms and his mellow smile and the tap of his cowboy boots, i felt very happy. actually and so you know, well, it's pretty easy to adore all of people and strangers. // anyhow, I've been doing more goodbyes than I have been packing, but for a change I figured that into the moving-deal, and unlike the last Degree I got, which was just as important to me in learning and friendship as this one, I feel this time like everything that was supposed to be said and met has been said and met. // pretty amazing, no? // going to graduation, boring and great. visiting with an old girlfriend, comfortable and lovely. drinking margaritas with the sexiest person i've met (and got to kiss), lilting (i remembered all over why i could have, but felt still felt pleased awkward). hearing whacked-out stories of family with a man who supported all of us, generating. playing go-fish with little ladies, i'm just fine. a gift charm from a teacher i love, the genuine nature. a loud simultaneous laugh down the beach with someone as intense as myself, the tentacles peering from the tip of a snail. old phone calls, new ones, grades turned in, emails to students, arrangements, packing dishes I plan on smashing in brown paper bags when home and then pressing into concrete walkways for my mum, moving heavy fucking furniture, collecting books, returning books. walking the same old with old eyes, imagining a hundred years later buildings, a horned toad gobbling, and what we could but won't/haven't. all the puppies along the street, cupcakes from my upstairs neighbors. phones, phone messages, phoned meetings, text deals, thinking about wicked stalkers, speaking to the downstairs neighbors (I finally talked [about It] to the woman whose husband comes home drunk and knocks shit including her around downstairs and makes my wacko roomie threaten with taped-notes to call the cops, and she told me she's undergoing counseling, understands his alcoholism, has asked him to leave in the next month, loves him, gets it, is taking care of herself and her son, loves her cats and plants, is early-thirties capable and dealing, which was an intense intense conversation but a really, incredible good moment). eating ice cream, eating sushi, eating tales, growing fat fat and fat, looking forward to action. talking smack around the corner, petting everyone's golden labs. // fuckme, but hasn't this been the most independent construction of my life? i'm moving back to family and ocean, and that feels like being enfolded back, but here in Chicago, I've been my own and gotten myself home nomatter what. and I think I've opened myself up so wide and asked so many to talk to me, heard people. was that a change? all that listening: was that a Change? but as for me, i've been brave not foolish but brave because why limit yourself because of others. gunshots, poverty, getting home. // and yes, but really this independence has been fairly generated by the generosity of my family who, well, signed me up for it (literally, as my mum sent in the deposit without me even saying I was sure), helped pay for it, and was always there to either a) tell me I should do it no matter, and b) let me know I'm a git if I don't do something with it (my sis). // lucky luck luck so lucky. really. but to all those who were there: I made everything possible of it. I really did. // And spending all this goodbye goodbye walking-beach, walking-town, walking-museum and walking-food and beer-even walking, and tapwalking, scared, what's next anxious, walking-water, walking home, dancefloor moonwalking, balcony pacing and walk with that story in throat, no, those stories that breed in the corner alleys like rice skiddled and so many words not at all romantic and sassing, but slow, and sad. so many stories. collecting. // i guess. really, i'm so ruddy grateful and sad and hopeful to be saying. and I swear to ----, I'm going to find a way to stay, and grow as, an artist and writer. // plus i'm meeting my goddaughter for the first time tomorrow, yes sirree, I hope she likes me! // moving, miiiiiiiles away.