Pennsylvania is very long. I thought I knew long, driving regularly through Kansas, but that was different. Kansas is flat, well mostly flat, Pennsylvania is all hills and dense trees and… no horizon. For some reason not being able to see the horizon makes it all seem longer.
I have learned that I am headed into a land of trees and hills. I am a guy from the west, I am used to being able to see for miles and miles. Not here… in this a wet, forested place. E and L keep calling these hill mountains and, just to annoy them, I correct that these aren’t “mountains.” Then we exchanged a bit about the science of tectonic plates.
It is nice here, I will admit that. We seem surrounded by clouds even though I am at a lower altitude than I grew up at. They dip in to the trees and you have to wonder if you are seeing smoke, but you know, despite what you suspect, that it isn’t smoke. It doesn’t move like smoke.
We stopped in Indiana Pennsylvania where E and L went to school together. It is fun to be there with them. We eat killer Philly Cheesesteaks and chips, we see a statue of Jimmy Stewart (he lived there?), we listen to the crosswalk counters that are Jimmy Stewart’s voice telling you that it is safe to cross, we see the school they went to, and we see the apartment they lived in.
It is nice, but it is also hard. E talks a lot about the past and he and I only have so much history. E and L have four times as much life together (at least for now) and there will always exist in their stories people I will never know, past versions of themselves that are lost to me. This has always been a hard part for me when it comes to this polyamory thing. I think the best analogy I can offer for those who are not in poly relationships is the idea of meeting your partner’s ex. That familiarity, that history, that… sense of knowing something you will never know.
It is a movie you have never seen or a book you have never read…
If and when I get jealous (or as close as I do get to that particular emotion) is when I think of their history.
Seeing that town they once lived in helped a bit. The more we share, the less their history alienates me. Now I know, now I have some real memory with them in the place they shared.
We have been driving for hours in PA- we listened to the audiobook written and spoken by John Darnielle. L is obsessed with a band – The Mountain Goats- and the lead signer wrote the book- “Wolf in the White Van”. I will let them tell you the benefits of TMG and why they are amazing. Here is what I know… I listened to the book the same way I listen to the music… I don’t fully get it in terms of language, but I can sense and understand the intended emotion… it’s like being a child listening to adults talk in another room without being able to make out the words.
As we finally reach New York (7:40pm- ish) Katniss is back… it is dark, raining, and I feel like this little piece of NY will be anti-climactic.