Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reality Check

I was restless by mid-July. I’d spent the month of May in the States, mostly in NYC, and was feeling that my colonial village was too small. Since I arrived in San Miguel, summers have included GIFF, the Guanajuato International Film Festival, that brought an array of films and filmmakers from around the world to our town, and the last two summers have included TEDx conferences.  This year GIFF bypassed San Miguel and TEDx was postponed until the fall. Music wasn’t tempting me out of the house much. Some of my favorite musicians were performing but I’ve heard them all more than a dozen times. Other friends who arrived around the time I did, late in 2005, were also experiencing ennui. This summer felt stale. Was it time to relocate or just the seven-year itch?

I started fantasizing about returning to New Orleans. I’d been nostalgic for my old house since my friend Rich met the new owners when he made his first trip to NOLA in April for this year’s JazzFest. The perfect for me house that I never got to live in. On my two-day pass through before returning to San Miguel, I started falling in love with the City again. I could feel it was coming back when my friend Claudia and I checked out a blues concert in one of the parks before heading to her house in Manderville,. I was experiencing the same energy that sucked me in the first time I visited in ’95. I relished the breeze off the water as we walked her dog along Lake Pontchartrain. And OD’d on oysters, plump, juicy, succulent, not the anemic ones we get in the mountains of Mexico. During my plane ride home, I remember thinking that New Orleans suited me better than San Miguel.

Then, as it moved toward New Orleans, Issac transitioned from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane and made landfall on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As I tracked its movement, I remembered why ultimately I sold the house. I never want to repeat that experience. Never want to flee my home again, never want to repair it from the ravages of a storm. Never want to deal with mold, insurance companies or FEMA.

All the cities I love in the States have major deficits for me now—New Orleans has hurricanes, New York and San Francisco are too expensive. Plus SF has earthquakes.  I’m starting to remember why I thought San Miguel would be a good base. But after years of NYC living, it is too small to exist alone. I don’t need to move. I need to get out more.