I traveled widely in the US and Canada when I was young. Courtesy of the Government, I hit a few spots in the Caribbean as well. I always gravitated away from the touristy and towards the wholly local. There was nothing quite as good as settling in and making friends. Likewise, you saw things that tourists never knew about and gained perspectives that were not on the spiels of tour guides. Some very mundane places were unexpectedly fascinating at the local level. Being that I was restless, I didn’t stay too long in one spot and missed the birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations of people who I cared for. 

This peripatetic jumping around has consequences. No sooner had you launched a relationship than you were off to another place. Why? Well. a whim, a fancy, perhaps a minor disagreement. In truth, if you have no roots, you have no investment in a place. If you take no time to develop an attachment, it’s easy to leave. “Always in motion, never at rest” could be your motto. 

Eventually, I learned the fruitlessness of endlessly wandering and established a firm tap root that kept me local to one area.

But you never entirely stop wondering about what happened back in Williston, Recerville, Port Agatha, or any of the many places you once hung a hat, dropped your pack at, or spent playing your guitar in. Thankfully, after sending in the DNA sample, there were no emails from prospective descendants looking for their father. But at midnight, your fingers start typing searches on Google: Chambers of Commerce, local papers, or community organizations. Blind curiosity. What’s up with Charlie, Betty, Joan, or Jack? Just once you pick up the phone and call, “Hi, It’s Wes!”, “Who?” and then a click as the phone hangs up. You make no more calls, and your Google searches go in other directions.

It’s tough coping with being less memorable than you hoped to be.

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