It is deathly hot here in Modesto. Yesterday had a high of 109 and today is forecast to get up to 112.

Every year during this open house to hell, I start thinking of moving out of the Central Valley. And so it is that I am looking at options for a cooler clime.

For years, I’ve dreamed of moving to Vancouver, BC. But as I was thinking about it today, I realized that this is too big a hurdle to jump. As I’ve mentioned before, I am entrenched in my inertia. The very idea of moving is contrary to my nature. The idea of moving to another country… well, unless I work up to that sort of thing, it will never be more than an idea.

So then I was thinking, Seattle. Lots going for it. A friend of mine lives in Portland and she suggested that I would enjoy living there. So now I am looking into the idea of Portland. It may be that this will never be more than an exercise in imagination. To be a reality, I would need to secure a job and housing before I went up there.

How to do that from here?

Friendships do sometimes end

A couple of years ago, a woman named Alyssa came to work at MJC in the Financial Aid Department. Alyssa and I became good friends. Our friendship grew at first through numerous daily phone calls and email messages; later through much time spent together. It was a platonic relationship but a uniquely special one. Alyssa had a boyfriend, John whom I got to know, and he and I got along well. I spent many hours at Alyssa’s house. I got to know her family and in particular her sister, Kaleena. I would flirt outrageously with Kaleena but just in fun. Neither of us had any interest in the other. Weekly dinners, time spent with each other running errands, shared work environments all contributed to my friendship with Alyssa.

Although we had this great friendship, one should not be misled into thinking that there were no points on which we disagreed. There are two points that are germane to this story. Early on in our friendship, Alyssa told me that she did not believe that friendships should be work. We argued gently about this a time or two but there it was. The second thing that bears on this story is that I have a pattern or tendency to not do a very good job with long distance friendships. I have had several good friends that have moved away at the height of our friendship. Though there was a bit of effort in the beginning to maintain the friendship, it has always faded as our lives go on, now on separate tracks. I do not like this reality but I accept it. Alyssa, Kaleena, and many other people claim to be able to pick right up where they left off when they have the opportunity to see their old/distant friends. I do not possess this ability. I have a finite capacity for relationships.

So, a year ago, Alyssa decides to quit her job at MJC and move to the Bay Area to live with John. This was a very sad thing for me to have to accept. At the same time, Kaleena had announced that she was moving to Los Angeles to live with her boyfriend. To me, this effectively signaled the end of our friendships, at least the active friendships. Alyssa was my connection to her sister and the rest of her family, and with her gone, I no longer had a connection. Kaleena was also moving away and truth be told, she had never been much for reciprocating the effort that I put in to be her friend.

So neither Alyssa, nor Kaleena, nor I have really put any effort into communicating with each other since then. I’ve emailed Alyssa a couple of times and received replies but they are essentially meaningless. Kaleena ended up not moving out of town and as it turns out, it wasn’t at all important to tell me that. I always felt with her like I was the one putting in all the effort. I’d actually decided to stop to see what would happen and very predictably, I never heard from her. A couple of times, Kaleena would include me in the distribution list for a mass email she was sending out. Not exactly the personal touch but it was something. Upon receiving one of these emails from her, I would immediately respond with an offer to get together. For whatever reason, we never did. Until this last week.

She sent out one of her mass emails and I responded with an inquiry about when we might get together. After a couple of false starts, we ended up meeting at the Queen Bean on Sunday evening. The first minute or two of conversation was awkward. So much for her alleged ability to pick up right where things left off. Then she launches into a “why haven’t I or Alyssa heard from you?” She accuses me of not putting in any effort.

Let me tell you, I was pissed. The fracking phone rings both ways! My entire history with Kaleena was a one-sided effort on my part to be her friend. The only time she’d ever call me was when she needed something. Here’s an example: on Sunday she asked if I would be willing to go with her to a club here in town that caters toward an older crowd. Was she asking because she wanted to do something with me? No, no. She wants to go there to pick up on older guys and didn’t want to go alone. She would be very happy to ditch me if some sugar daddy happened along.

Anyway, as I read over this whole thing, it just looks stupid. Maybe it is stupid to have put this much thought/time into it, but it’s how I have felt and I won’t apologize for it. The reason I wrote this out is that I had posted somewhere that I had a good weekend until I saw Kaleena and one of my friends asked me about it. It would have been too hard to explain via text messages so I told him I’d post an entry to my blog about it.

Hope you enjoyed the story. 🙂