Three weeks from today, I will wake up very, very early. I will take a last look about my little cottage, home for the past 16 months, and I will walk out the door.
I will not take my key.
The cat will be tucked in his carrier, safe in the backseat. He will bitch and complain for approximately the next month at the injustice.
In the dark hours between night and day, I will leave Virginia. It will be early enough that I won’t get to stop for coffee in Virginia or West Virginia. Maybe Pennsylvania. I won’t be tempted by any of my old haunts, and I certainly won’t be picking up much for the drive; my car will be full enough.
It will contain every single thing I own.
I will drive for a very long time that day. I will feel sad, happy, giddy and tired. I will drink a lot of coffee in Ohio. I will sing loudly to the radio in Indiana. I will talk on the phone while I drive, except in Pennsylvania because they frown on that. And it will still be a little early for anyone I know to actually be awake.
At the end of the day, I will arrive at a house I’ve never seen. Because the people who live there are awesome, they will be ready for me, even though it will be a little late. I will fall asleep, exhausted, and when I wake up, it will be hard to remember I’m not in Virginia anymore.
A week after that, I will drive south. This drive will be more fun. It will include more laughter and talking to my car buddy. This time, I will have a car buddy whose main concerns are not cat food, litter boxes and why the damned toy keeps squeaking even though he clearly killed it.
At the end of that day, I won’t feel sad. I won’t feel tired. I will feel pure joy and excitement for the new adventure.
Goodbye, Virginia. Hello, Texas.