ghost towns

by rantywoman

When I moved away from this city seven years ago, my last two remaining social groups had begun to crumble. I didn’t realize they’d be dust by the time I returned.

As I’ve written before, one of my friends informed me he was moving to Los Angeles with his girlfriend just as I arrived back in town. I went to his goodbye party expecting a blowout, but it was instead a small dinner party with a handful of guests. I thought he had lost touch with the large circle of friends and acquaintances we used to socialize with, but now I realize that circle just doesn’t exist any more. The younger mother I ran into recently had been part of it, but she is still in touch with only two others, one of whom just moved away with her husband and child this month. Another helpful friend here had also been part of that circle, but she married and moved to the suburbs over the last few years and is no longer in touch with any of them.

Another older, long-term friend of mine here has for decades been living in a funky old house, which was something of a touchstone for me, as he threw numerous parties in his backyard over the years. When I came back to visit from L.A., I would always spend a couple of nights there.

He just sold the house and is moving a bit farther away with his girlfriend. The goodbye party was this weekend, and I was sad that hardly any of the old gang was there. I did see one man who used to flirt with me a little; he is now (deservedly) paired off with someone with whom he seems eminently more compatible. Other than him, I only recognized a few other faces.

I found myself choking up as I drove home.

I feared staying on in Los Angeles and becoming an older woman alone in an anonymous megalopolis, but I get scared here too–scared that there is no place for me any longer. If I can find a decent job, I’ll dig in my heels; I’ll try to find my way again from scratch. If I can’t find a good job, I can see my commitment dissolving.

Ironically, I’ve been having obvious signs of ovulation the past two months, while never having felt so adrift from intimacy. Just totally betwixt and between.

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