Life Things

It’s been a weird couple of weeks.

Creatively, it’s full-on 4 Kings with snippets from other story ideas being written longhand for a later return. Thank G*d I bought all those decomposition notebooks. I’ve unread comics, unreviewed doujinshi, and minor doses of weirdness on Twitter.

Humid systems from the Atlantic visited eastern PA well into November. They’re typically gone by Halloween, but this year they lingered like that friend you no longer jive with, overstaying their welcome at your party. Cold weather returns, as does seasonal arthritis in my arms. Yay!

Some personal things.

My spouse and I returned to PA in 2016 after almost 20 years in Austin, Texas. Our youngest got into an arts program up here, and the mothership of the infrastructure software company my spouse works for is located here. Also, I’d been complaining for years about not having seasons. I missed the changing leaves in autumn and snow—yes, I miss the snow. I ached for rain and being surrounded by green trees.

Our oldest didn’t come with us. He was tied to Austin by his career, friends, and girlfriend. At the time, my spouse thought, okay, let him figure out life is hard for a month, and then he’ll join us. My son is made of sturdy shit. He stuck it out for seven years before realizing that the gentrification of Austin means only new arrivals get a cost-of-living adjustment—not him.  His wage stayed the same while his rent, food, and gas cost skyrocketed in response to all the migrating Californians.

I retired in August, and now that my brain isn’t tethered to a tv-show and its fictional dramas, I can focus on my spouse and his concerns about our son. I put the proverbial foot down and told our oldest he needed to stop living to work. Come to PA, get a better-paying job here, and pay us some monthly rent ($500 compared to the $1480) until you can get on your feet and get a place of your own.

My spouse isn’t retiring until he’s 62 or 65 (he’s in management now and doesn’t want his team being mishandled by some new jack), so we’re in this massive townhouse and all its rooms with the youngest and their boyfriend. There’s plenty of room in this place for six people without anyone losing their privacy.

My son readily agreed, and that tells me he’s been defeated.

There’s some guilt lurking in my heart. I should’ve insisted he come with us years ago instead of just securing his apartment and buying him a car before skipping town. My spouse is excited about his return in late February, and I’ll feel better once he’s settled.

Multigenerational living isn’t weird for me since my neighborhood growing up was loaded with families that chose that route. Spouse’s spinal condition changed our ‘travel when we retire’ plans, but at least he’ll have his kids with him. Yes, they’re my kids too—but he’s far more emotionally invested since he’s a normal person.

Okay. Back to writing.

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