Almost as soon as he moves out, she begins thinking about where she can move to next. It’s what she does. She obviously can’t stay in her town. But she’s tired of moving. She loves her house. She owns it and she can afford it. She cannot quite picture being single in such a small town. She still wants love, someday, maybe. She’s hardly eager to date. Like, ever again. But everyone knows everyone here. And it feels like a town full of couples.

Chicago is of course always first on the list, but having left, it feels like it could never be the same again. She does love LA, and work-wise that would make sense, but that’s a no, she missed the change of seasons when she was in Texas. She could go back to the city, you know, if she had rent for that, but she doesn’t. Also she doesn’t really want to live there anyway. Also she loves her house. She owns it and she can afford it.

She has always loved Kalamazoo. It’s a sweet college town, it’s near Chicago, but her love for Kalamazoo is about her friends. The husband’s oldest friends, the punks, have expanded into a solid core of people they have accumulated as dear friends over the years, in spite of not living there. They made frequent trips to Kalamazoo when they lived in Chicago, but those folks, punks that they are, would go on tour and come to Chicago as well, or Texas, or New York. They spent one Thanksgiving weekend in northern Michigan at a big cabin with the whole lot of them and their kids, one of her favorite Thanksgivings ever, talking and laughing and eating turkey and fondue and cake and playing games and singing songs and squeezing babies. She would have moved to Kalamazoo from the jump with the husband if he’d wanted to. (He didn’t.) These people throw dinners and parties and bake for each other, they show up for each other when things are great and they show up when someone needs help and they show up when things suck. They’re a community, something she’s always dreamed of. And one she could jump right into. It isn’t that community doesn’t or can’t exist in her town. It’s that her Kalamazoo people have her heart.

But. Yeah. Right. So. That window probably closed. It may or may not matter that the husband is no longer close with some of these people. It’s still too weird.

Still, she wishes he’d dropped her there instead of here.

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