Where Chance Meets Necessity

Love at First Sight
by Jennifer Maier

You always hear about it—
a waitress serves a man two eggs
over easy and she says to the cashier,
That is the man I’m going to marry,
and she does. Or a man spies a woman
at a baseball game; she is blond
and wearing a blue headband,
and, being a man, he doesn’t say this
or even think it, but his heart is a homing bird
winging to her perch, and next thing you know
they’re building birdhouses in the garage.
How do they know, these auspicious lovers?
They are like passengers on a yellow
bus painted with the dreams
of innumerable lifetimes, a packet
of sepia postcards in their pocket.
And who’s to say they haven’t traveled
backward for centuries through borderless
lands, only to arrive at this roadside attraction
where Chance meets Necessity and says,
What time do you get off?


So I Moved (Part 3): Now What Do I Do?

Once I made it to Denver, I unpacked my Jeep and put all my belongings in LS's storage unit (Thanks, girl!). LS graciously let me stay with her in Englewood for my first week while I got settled, and all I really remember from that week was aggressively trying to reconnect with every single person that I knew in this city. A job and apartment would come eventually,  I figured, but I needed friends, and I needed friends stat.

That week I had breakfast with JF at Snooze, a picnic with KS in Wash Park, lunch with WL, a baseball game with AI, and even a blind friend date with another friend's friend SH. Oh yeah, I meant business. The hardest part of leaving New York was leaving the people, so that was the first box I needed to check in Denver, and I will say, I did a pretty damn good job.

10 days into my new Denver life, I moved into a 7-week sublet in West Wash Park with two fat cats named Crookshanks and Chow. Their owner/kitty mama was on a backpacking adventure in Slovenia, and she had given me discount rent in exchange for keeping her cats well-fed and well-snuggled. I loved that apartment: the record player, the big kitchen counter, the giant window next to my bed. I woke up early every morning because the birds chirped so loudly and the sun shone so brightly. It was so idyllic it was almost cliche. But it wasn't cliche; I think that's just Colorado?

Although I was starting to carve out a little life for myself in Denver, tears still flowed for Brooklyn. I missed walking past a mosque on my way to get groceries at Mr. Melon, and I missed hearing the neighborhood steel drum band practicing on Saturday afternoons. I missed taking the A train to go to Rockaway beach, and yes, I did just admit that I missed the subway. Mostly, though, I missed my people. The friends-turned-family who I spent so many hours with, doing fun things with or not fun things with or doing absolutely nothing at all.

Here's the part where I thank God/Allah/Queen Bey for LS who had been living in Denver while getting her PhD but was leaving in August to take a professor job in South Dakota (sidebar: how kick ass is that?!). Without LS's friendship (and her washer/dryer), the beginning chapter of my Denver story would have been darker and a lot more lonely. She was my guiding light, introducing me to farmer's markets and great breakfast spots, cool movie theaters and the best Target in town. More than just showing me around, she let me be sad, let me vent, and let me be me. When she left in August, my already fragile heart broke a little more, but it was eased by the gratitude that I felt that we had been able to share this time together at all. Denver with Leah with Wonderful.


So I Moved (Part 2): Road Trippin' with Mama Lightfield

On Friday, June 4th I drove for 12 hours straight; that's as many hours in one day as I had driven in the past 6 years combined. And I drove it with my mom. We left South Dakota at 8:00AM and 6 bathroom breaks, 700+ miles, and 1 failed Snapchat tutorial* later we had arrived. This is our (snap) story:

*I attempted to make a Snap Story of our road trip, but my creativity was stunted by the apparent need for me to stay in our lane. I tried to verbally teach my mom the finer points of snapchat while driving, but if you can imagine that was a total disaster. God lover her for trying!

So I Moved (Part 1): The Day I Left NYC

So, I live in Denver now! I've actually been here a full three and a half months already, but I haven't been  fully inspired to sit down and write about it until now (when I have literally a hundred other things I need to do #typical). This has been such a challenging, illuminating, and fun time in my life that I need to stop, drop, and write now more than ever, and quick! before I forget everything! Here's what I remember and don't ever want to forget.

I left NYC on Friday, May 27th at 5AM. Uber prices were surging, so I stood on a street corner with 6 rats (I counted) scurrying by my feet until I spotted a yellow cab.  I bartered with the driver to take me to Newark airport for a flat rate of $100, and the sun came up as we drove West, over the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan, then under the tunnel to New Jersey. As we drove, I tried to breath in every last New York City drop but my Coldplay-level of feelings were interrupted by my driver who was curious about where I was going with such large suitcases. "I'm moving to Colorado," I said, to which he replied, "Oh cool, home of Bart Simpson!" (I laughed then quickly fact checked this on my phone). Then my driver told me his story, of moving to the U.S. from the Sudan twenty years ago.

He told me about arriving at La Guardia airport never having spoken a word of English. He eventually learned enough English to get a job driving taxis from a homeless man who lived under the Manhattan bridge. Every morning, my driver would bring the homeless man McDonald's, and the man would sit in the driver's car and teach him the English words for "steering wheel," "rear-view mirror," "seatbelt." Years later after my driver got the job and was driving somewhere in Brooklyn, he spotted his friend/teacher. He pulled over immediately, they recognized each other, and hugged it out right then and there. As my driver was telling me this story, I couldn't help but feel more in love with New York City than ever. It had been such a hard, exhausting, and expensive place to live for the past 6 years and I did feel ready to leave, but sitting in the back of that cab with Brooklyn at my back I thought, "yeah, but it's *magic*."


Moving Day: 6/3/16

The Men I Dated Next (to publish upon leaving town)

After My Big Heartbreak last summer, I couldn't imagine sitting across the table with another man and feeling attracted/attractive/happy/hopeful again. At first I needed some time to be by myself, to practice self-care and mourn the loss of what had been so far my greatest love, but eventually just like Stella I finally got my groove back. I am so glad I did because this is who I met:


The 8 answers I keep giving (on repeat):

1. Denver, Colorado!
2. I'm ready for a new adventure.
3. No, I don't have a job yet.
4. No, I don't have an apartment yet.
5. Yes, I do have some friends and family there.
6. Yes, I am sad to leave New York.
7. 5 and a half years.
8. Thanks so much!

--End Scene--


The Visible and The In

By: Marge Piercy

Some people move through your life
like the perfume of peonies, heavy
and sensual and lingering.

Some people move through your life
like the sweet musky scent of cosmos
so delicate if you sniff twice, it’s gone.

Some people occupy your life
like moving men who cart off
couches, pianos and break dishes.

Some people touch you so lightly you
are not sure it happened. Others leave
you flat with footprints on your chest.

Some are like those fall warblers
you can’t tell from each other even
though you search Petersen’s.

Some come down hard on you like
a striking falcon and the scars remain
and you are forever wary of the sky.

We all are waiting rooms at bus
stations where hundreds have passed
through unnoticed and others

have almost burned us down
and others have left us clean and new
and others have just moved in.


That's Why

Five years ago when people asked me why I was moving to New York, the best answer I could give was, "Because it's New York, that's why." It sounds a little arrogant now looking back, but for the most part, people understood what I meant. New York is the epicenter of art, business, culture, fashion (and all the other sections of the NYTimes), and so it didn't take a lot of explaining when I told people I was leaving SD for NY. But now I'm getting asked that same question about my upcoming move to Denver. "Why Denver?" I am asked. I'm finding the answer to be harder to nail down.

So I thought about it, and here's why

...Because I grew up on the prairie and then moved to the city, and now, as they say, "the mountains are calling and I must go."
...Because I crave a fresh start and fresher air.
...Because I want to be closer to home, closer to my mom and her cat and our lake cabin and an airport that I can fly directly into.
...Because the male to female ratio in Denver is in. my. favor.
...Because I went on a Colorado hike with LS in October that helped mend me back together, and LS said to me, "Here we just call that Saturday."
...Because I'm ready to trade my job for a career, my wings for roots.
...Because New York City was never my destination, just a necessary layover on my path to find it/me/you.


"If you grew up around alcoholism, one of the first things you learned to do was agree not to see what was really going on."

--Anne Lamott