I am back. Sadly not from Helsinki, but from helping my parents move from New York to Florida. Like many New Yorkers, they swore all their lives they would never move down to Florida; like many New Yorkers, in the end it was really their best option.
Everyone in their neighborhood is from somewhere else. Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Ontario …. It’s rather like when I first moved to San Francisco: it was months before I met a born-and-bred resident.
All in all, it was a bittersweet time. I left New York two decades ago, but through my parents I went back often. Now that last tie is severed. When I took that first fateful flight to San Francisco all those years ago, I had just bought a book of poems by Joseph Brodsky and I kept turning over and over these lines from “May 24, 1980”
Quit the city that bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
to the point where I had them memorized. They are truer now than when I first read them.
At some point this past weekend, I was sitting outside a Stuckey’s in South Carolina with this window before me and the quite respectable sales numbers for Harkworth Hall on my phone. I am grateful to everyone who made it such a good launch, who took a chance on Caroline. Still, sometimes this writer—who grew up with corded telephones and five channels of television—is struck dumb by this world, today, now.