Rainey days and Tuesdays

Well, it's official. Rainey left yesterday, cramming all her stuff into their Camry and hitting the road for the 12-hour drive back to Beantown. I guess there's no denying it anymore -- the fellowship is, apparently, over. I can tell because I wake up in the mornings now and I'm no longer planning my day around a director's lunch, that afternoon's seminar or an evening dinner. I'm not mining my email trying to juggle plans with all sorts of different people. I'm not feeling the pressure of class deadlines.

We're all going to be petering out of Ann Arbor in the next few weeks. Tony heads back to Philly on Thursday. Min-Ah leaves for some time with family in New York soon and then heads out for a month or two of world travel before showing up for duty in Seoul. Graham, who drove back to Boston with Rainey yesterday, flies back to Ann Arbor tonight to concentrate on finishing up his screenplay. In May, he'll drive across country with Gerard and Kim, who will then spend some time in Malta and the far East before arriving back in Sydney.

Vindu will make the long drive back to California in the not-too-distant future. Thomas will stay in Ann Arbor until June, when he makes his way to England. Vanessa plans to travel in the Far East before coming back to Ann Arbor, gathering her things and cats, and then pointing herself back towards Miami.

Gail returns to Baltimore some time soon, although she'll be in and out of Ann Arbor. The Butters head back to their home in Ferndale which, while not actually that far from Ann Arbor, seems a million miles away in theory. After school gets out in June, the Lindsay crew goes back to Alexandria.

Not sure yet when and where Chuck and Lisa are heading; their adventure contains some variables not yet resolved. Fara and John Bacon, who both live in the Ann Arbor area, will turn their focuses back to their "real" lives here. Charles Clover's spending the summer here finishing up his book on Russian conservatism before he goes back to London.

Chris and I are already doing that thing, where we're deciding what we can start to pack. Nothing's made it into any boxes yet, but the promise looms there in stacks of books and piles of winter clothing. We'll spend a few days in New York starting May 1, to attend a friend's movie premier at the Tribeca Film Festival. Then it's back here to really pack for our mid-May departure and return to St. Louis.

So it's a strange transitional time for us here. We're here, but without the fellowship, we're not exactly here together. Plus, people are placing one foot firmly in their "real" lives and testing the waters of re-entry.

It doesn't help that the weather has been largely overcast and dreary today. Not one bit.