Of one thing we might be certain, our lives will continue to scatter as we age in a sad number of ways. This is perhaps truer of academics than people from other professions as we academics are more prone to moving around the country than most. Except maybe journalists. They probably move a lot. And people who work for airlines. And probably some other kinds of jobs that are not coming to mind right now. To all those groups of people, I say let us commiserate.
Let us commiserate about how difficult it is to retain friendships as we keep moving, both geographically and temporally. Staying connected as we grow older is an increasing impossibility which is a great misfortune as we now need those connections even more than we did in our pink-lighted, beer-soaked days where friends were everywhere, seeping out of our pockets, lining near barstools, ringing through our phones and ears and hearts.
And then, silence. Or perhaps not silence so much as the steady hush of busyness, of life getting on with itself, of life becoming more complicated, of responsibilities shoring our shoulders closer to the ground.
And then out of nowhere, we are where we are. And sometimes it is unfamiliar when a familiar face would be awfully nice. But the terrible busy is terribly important. Kids, work, projects, relationships, television obsessions.
Another unreturned phone call. More moments of solitary. Less connectivity. More getting on with it.