What is this, St. Louis? No, because at 10:38 pm (9:38 St. Louis time) it's only 75% humidity. Here in A2, it's 96% humidity. Of course, it's a good 10 degrees warmer back on the Ol' Miss. If it sounds like I'm bitching like a child, it's because I am. Turns out whoever said that one does not need A/C in A2 didn't realize how incredibly well I tolerate the heat. Let's hope they're not lying when they smile through clenched teeth and promise me it'll pass soon. But not before it hits 94 in a few days.
Were I to stop complaining long enough, I'd probably note that all other aspects of being here are swell. We have the house in better shape than I'd hoped for 48-hours post move. Even the cats seem to have settled into a routine and it doesn't involve hiding under the beds. On some level, I'd feared that we'd arrive back here and I'd have built it all up in my mind, have exaggerated the strange sense of calm I felt being here -- and I'd discover that we'd made a terrible mistake.
But it doesn't feel like that at all. It feels like we're home.
In case we weren't sure, the universe has been giving us a few little signs. This afternoon, Amy Butters brought the Butter Beans into A2 (from their home back in Ferndale) for a birthday party. They stopped by the house afterwards to visit for a while and regale us with tales from the past two months.
Then we walked into town this evening, skirting past the crowds gathered for an antique car show on Main Street, and made our way to Zingerman's for a late bite to eat. It's about a mile walk, door to door, but with enough distractions to seem far less. (Except for the fact that it seems to be uphill both ways, which I thought was only true in tales my grandpa told about his walks to school.)
The humidity was dampening our clothes but there was just enough breeze to make it comfy and the air lacks the thickness of St. Louis in the summer time, the feeling that you're struggling to get a deep breath. After dinner, we were wandering back down Main Street when we happened upon Candy from the Knight-Wallace Fellowship.
We caught up with Candy and met her friend Betty when the Rwandan Cowboy came sauntering up, as if it was the most normal thing on earth that we all meet on the streets of downtown Ann Arbor. Yes, friends, Thomas Kamilindi is still in town -- wearing his leather cowboy hat from Argentina and the A-WOW t-shirt Bacon gave him for his birthday -- while he awaits the processing of his application for political asylum.
I kept glancing over my shoulder, expecting a John U. Bacon sighting. We've been here 72 hours and I can't believe we haven't run into him yet. I don't think anyone's ever been in Ann Arbor for 48 hours without running into Bacon, whether they know him or not.
We're dining with Fara tomorrow evening and Graham and Rainey hit town next weekend for a family wedding. (Charles Clover is still in town too, but seeing as I haven't been hanging out in the law library, I don't stand much chance of running into him.)
It all feels a bit otherworldly, continuing these Fellowship connections as though we've found the door at the back of the wardrobe, through which we can continue that glorious year. It didn't seem impossible that we would glance inside the wine bar and see Vindu and Kimba arguing the finer points of a particular bottle while Gerard quietly bashes his head against the wooden bar.
Or that a block further would take us past Rush Street, where we'd run into Gail and Foley heading in to visit their favorite barkeeps. Or that we'd spot Tony in his Rerun hat jovially making his way down Main Street, Dru and Sally cutting a path through the crowd on their bikes, Min-Ah turning a corner with a giant smile on her face.
Are we just being Wooderson from Dazed & Confused, hanging out at the high school after graduation, trying to hold on to best days long gone by? I don't think so. There's enough changed and enough future in front of us for me to know that coming here isn't about clinging to the past. It's just nice to be able to have some familiar faces along with you for the present, you know?