When I visited Indianapolis for the first time, I got mugged. By the city.
RobertaX's house was in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, which reminded me a lot of my old haunts in the Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta, except flat and with the streets all running at right angles to each other. The same gentrified old houses on quiet, tree-lined streets; the same mix of pubs, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. On top of that, Christmas lights were up and the whole place was covered in a blanket of snow. It was almost hopelessly twee. I was smitten. Further, I hit it off amazingly well with my hostess. It was one of those experiences that happens only a few times in your life, where within five minutes of talking with someone you realize "Wow. I have a new best friend."
Driving back to Knoxville, the first exit I passed coming into the city was the one that led to Marko's house. Marko's old house, as he'd left for New Hampshire a week or two earlier. And Kaylee was gone to Alaska. And my old downstairs neighbor, "rennaissancemann", had gotten all married up and moved across town. And I didn't work at the Armory anymore... I suddenly realized that I had pretty much nothing left rooting me in K-town. So when RobertaX mentioned in a phone conversation that she was open to the possibility of a roommate, I was barely off the phone before I started pricing U-Hauls.
Saturday I'll be backing a 17-footer into the driveway of the place I've called home for the last six years, longer than anyplace that didn't have my parents' name on the mailbox, and Sunday I'll be setting out on my next great adventure. Knoxville's been fun; I showed up almost eight years ago without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, and proceeded to make this town my own, but it's time to head for new horizons. I'm excited, a little nervous, and buzzing with anticipation. (That last bit might just be because of the chocolate-covered espresso beans, though...)
Wagons ho! :)