The one consolation to depositing yourself, along with thirty-four cardboard boxes and no soap, halfway across the continental US from your point of origin is that, for the first few precious weeks or months, you nurture the illusion that you will reinvent yourself.
I will turn from sloth, idleness, and provinciality towards freneticism, volunteerism, high-fiber diets. I will do yoga every day and grow half of what I eat. I will be feverishly sociable, pleasant to all, and inexhaustible in my pursuit of cleanliness. I will attack professional success like a half-blind terrier after an inflatable rat.
The truth drags its feet, shuffling in late to class. The floor needs to be cleaned, and so does the bathroom mirror. I am tired of meeting new people. My face hurts from smiling. My tomato plants are clinging to life and I keep stumbling short of the effort needed to launch my career.
On the other hand, I am inordinately fond of my porch. Other good news about Virginia includes the preponderance of BBQ, the cute accent, and the unerring aim of your NYT delivery person. The first thing I do in the morning is poke my nose out the front door, stoop down, and retrieve my beloved tree-gobbling subscription periodical.
Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I did first thing in the morning in Indianapolis. Is reinvention a boondoggle? Are we forever doomed to repeat, not just our mistakes, but our mundanities? And do I care?