I am sitting and watching the rain (yes the rain, and not, mark you, the SNOW, or the ICE, or some unimaginably horrific combination of the two). The deck is shiny with water and there are cactuses lining the wall, and the hills in the distance (shrouded in fog) meet at a point in the middle, where, if it weren't quite so misty out, you could see a sliver of the Pacific Ocean.
It is warm, and pleasant, and when I go outside, it does not hurt to breathe with cold. In case you were wondering, it should not hurt to breathe when you go outside.
We had the most fabulously bizarre last few days in Boston. First of all, IT SHOULD NOT TAKE THREE HOURS TO GET A CAB IN A MAJOR AMERICAN CITY. Second of all, IT SHOULD NOT TAKE THREE HOURS TO GET A CAB IN A MAJOR AMERICAN CITY. And third of all, IT SHOULD NOT TAKE...etc.
You see, all we needed was three cabs: one to take us to the post office, so that I could mail a variety of boxes to California and the UK; one to take us to the Salvation Army, where I could drop off everything that didn't make the cut; and one to take us to a kind friend's apartment, so we could have somewhere to store our luggage after moving out of the apartment.
It should have been simple, but actually, what ended up happening was this: we called a cab at 11:45 AM. It came at 3 PM, said cab arrived, and we took it to the Post Office, where we spent an hour with the world's most surly and unhelpful agent ("the return addresses goes HERE. have you ever gotten a letter in the mail?"). I then went to take my last university exam EVER (it involved labeling articles of clothing from 20th century American fashion: for instance, a picture of underpants: "jockey shorts"; a very silly looking haircut: "mullet"; etc.). While I was test-taking, X called for a cab to go to the Salvation Army. I arrived home at about 5, and it still hadn't come. Well, fine. Roundabout 7:30, it still hadn't showed up. ????!?!?!?!?!?!?! Not fine.
We waded through snow and ice at 4 AM because none of the cab companies were even picking up their phones anymore ("oh, it's miranda? quick, don't answer!").
"I don't know how you're meant to function here, unless you have a car," X astutely observed.
"I don't either," I agreed--then added something to the effect of, "but I also don't know how you're meant to function here with a car, given the lack of parking." Then I stepped in snow up to my knee and my suitcase slipped on some ice and I worked myself up into a royal huff that has only recently subsided, with the aid of a shower, some food, and about twelve hours of heavy sleep.
However, we are here, and it is wonderful, and I am done done with school--well, with university, at least. Assuming I labelled all the underwear and hairstyles correctly on that exam.........
Boston seems to have chosen my last few days there to play the role of cruelest city--which is a shame, because I know it has a soft underbelly, a kind face, which it shows at admittedly rare moments in winter, but which it generally allows one to see at least a hint of. I left it and felt nothing but grateful to be out; and having spent four years there, I'm sure there are things I will miss, but all in all, I have the sense that I am glad I lived there for awhile (whilst young and limber--all that slipping and sliding and falling on one's back would take a toll on an older body), and equally glad that it is not to be a place of permanent residence for me. I kept telling X, "we'll come back in May, and I'll show you around then," and telling myself, "you'll remember why you liked this city then." It was moving weather: horrible, mean-spirited, testing body and soul, asking you with each droplet of snow, each patch of dark ice: "what are you willing to do for the sake of a deadline?"
It is a strange thing, to be done with one phase and not yet on to the next. I can't say I'm not enjoying it either--and am looking forward, with extreme pleasure and excitement, to my imminent move to Britain. Until then, I suspect we shall go for lots of walks on the ranch, drink lots and lots of tea and coffee, and probably do our best to read through all the books on my shelf before New Years. Wish us luck.