Monday, March 25, 2013

San Diego and the Troubles of Living in a Huge Country

I wish that every picture of me looked like this...

My sister, aka my best friend for twenty-one years, lives on the other side of the country. Here I am in the ‘burbs of St. Louis while she pitches her metaphorical tent in a hostel in downtown San Diego. 1,854 driving miles lie between us, separating us with a vast gap of airfare money.

My life consists of telling students how to write persuasively, copy-editing and proofreading, hanging curtains and taking walks with my husband, baking cookies and meal-planning and biking down muddy paths to the grocery store. Her life is packed with hot days and cold nights, 20 hours a week of salsa dancing, drugged-out and drunken roommates, communal meals and bathrooms, and bringing Cookie Monster to life for children at SeaWorld. When she comes to visit, I’m reminded of the vast differences in our lives— and the vast differences in her present life from her past one. My baby sister has grown up, confident and more beautiful than ever. In California, she blossoms, and as far as I can see, to her Missouri is a snowy dream. And if we’re lucky, she’ll revisit that dream for another few days when the autumn leaves are falling.

The United States is a big country. 

Really, really big.

I miss you, Mary.


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