Sunday, July 30, 2006

Georgina on My Mind

I'm not sure when it was that I realized I had done Los Angeles. Or that Los Angeles had done me. Or maybe it in't the city, maybe it's graduate school. Or maybe it's the endless trauma of living eight time zones, one continent, and one ocean away from my partner, for a very long time. In September, we will begin our fifth year of living apart. It has not been easy.

The great Heatwave of '06 hasn't helped matters. Nor has the fact that after two master's degrees, four years of coursework, countless seminar papers, and plenty of qualifying exams, I am finally advanced to candidacy. My acronymic status says it well: Ph.D. (ABD), Doctor of Philosophy (All But Dissertation). That is to say, suddenly I am in the position of supposing to be a full-fledged academic, minus one more (longish) seminar paper. When this year's job market swings into gear, I can technically start participating. Not that I really will, but if for some reason my dream job were to open up, I know that I should apply for it. It's definitely a good feeling, to know this, but it is also a little alien.

So Mary and I spend a lot of time talking about the future, rather than the present. In a year from now, she will be finishing vet school, and I will hopefully be on a fellowship that will relieve me from teaching in order to finish up the dissertation. So we will be living together once again, and will have the rare opportunity to choose where we want to live, at least for the year. We're thinking of setting up house in Philadelphia. I'd like to be near NYC for research purposes, and her family is in DC. We both have friends in Philly, and my sister lives there at the moment. And it is one of the last great cities that is relatively affordable--those student loans aren't going to pay themselves off. We're both city people, and would love a chance to live in some nice little apartment in an old building in a funky neighborhood. We both really want to get a dog--she wants a Rottweiler, I want a lady Bulldog who shall be named Georgina.

I have another year in Los Angeles, to enjoy the sunshine, and the company of my friends that have made these three years so enjoyable. I think I will enjoy this year more knowing it is my most likely my last here. I'll know that I should go out and do all those LA things I have yet to do, and that I should savor that which I have been doing. And I know that I'll definitely look back fondly at my time here.

But I think I've done Los Angeles.

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