I’m constantly struck by the American need to say, ‘Everything’s changed.’ Hiroshima, 9-11, the concentration camps, OJ, Kenneth Starr, the elections, JFK’s RIP, MLK’s RIP (note to self – when involved in wolrd politics – do not use full birth name), Vietnam…. This urge happens also at the personal level: changing to a Catholic high school, Jeremy’s suicide, starting college, ending college, moving to Chicago, kissing a guy, moving out on my own… I think we as humans feel this need to apply the rules of narrative to our random crazy lives at all times. That our lives can be packaged and re-told (and revised) into chapters and episodes and segments (with appropriate commercial interruptions). We like to think that transitions are transient and easily managed. Every once in a while I get my head out of my ass and realize that transition is the only thing you can count on. Things will never sit still. We are doomed/blessed to tumble in this crazy world – sometimes with full control, sometimes with no control – and sometimes with the illusion of both. And so again, everything has changed. Karen called yesterday to tell me that she is moving to San Diego. My heart lifted and sank at the same time and the stretch was dis-orienting. I was simultaneously overjoyed for her and also saddened that I knew immediately that our little clique of bliss we had created with a few others was going to slowly (or quickly) disintegrate. It’s funny that Karen seems to be the first one to transition out… she was the first one to move out when we all lived together. The first one to get her own place. The first one to go full-time. And now the first one to move away. I know she’s not dying. But I immediately began to play a film reel of great Chicago moments in my head. She hadn’t told Brigitte yet since they work together and she knew it would disrupt the office. So I walked over there and met them to drive home. We get in the car and Karen says, ‘Brigitte, Andy has something to tell you.’ ‘I do?,’ I say. ‘Yes,’ Karen affirms. We both start giggling. ‘You’re not having kids are you?’ Brigitte asks. I assure her, ‘No.’ ‘Brigitte, Karen’s moving to San Diego.’ The bomb dropped. Discussion ensued. Karen would not be joining us for dinner (she had choir practice – for some reason she’s got Jesus again or as she says, ‘I’m gonna rock out with The Lord!’). So Brig and I drove to her place for her to change before dinner. The tears came. In a big way. We were to meet Sarah for dinner so Brig had to figure out how to get her eyes back to normal – they were red as a Popeye’s chicken sign. Brigitte has a extreme phobia of anything near her eyes so it was with great trepidation that I suggested I put some eye drops in her eyes. So she laid down on the floor – to prevent anything major bodily harm – she shut her eyes and I put eye drops in. She had to yank her lids open with her hands to get the drops to go in – except her head was tilted so far back that they streamed out of her eyes, up her forehead and into her hair. We were laughing so hard we were crying… Finally I poured a bucket of Visine in each eye and she was able to get them in there and life continued.