When I was visiting Joycie, Jim and Orson in Dorchester the other day, I asked Jim about the folks who had moved into the huge, glorious house next door and he said they seem to be fine, two gay couples and one single person, all good friends. They're somewhere in their fifties, he said, and maybe they're creating a haven for old age, where everybody takes care of everybody else.
Susan, Shelia and I talked about what we'd each want, what we'd be willing to give up, if we all decided to move somewhere close to each other. They would be terrific companions, so it was a real spark to my present thinking to be talking about any possibility like this. I've been vaguely wanting some change, something that represents another big adventure. My last one, a relationship, ended badly for me, but those almost ten years were interesting and lively. I learned a lot.
I figure I have another ten or fifteen years of health and brain power in which to do something different. I'm a decade older than Shelia and Susan (though I really don't feel it) so perhaps my needs are more pressing. And each of them has more money, either in expected earnings or in property investments.
I've owned my little two-family house since 1984. It's gone up quite a bit in value, but that was starting low. It needs work. The roof has started leaking and a drain pipe just fell off. I really can't manage the overgrown yard. It's been good to me, inexpensive enough to have allowed me to save (much of which has been lost in this downslide), but it's rather isolated (though only a five minute drive to the racetrack which is a great plus and a place I want to be around for at least two more years.)
I would be willing to give up living in a house. Though gardens are nice (and Shelia has a fabulous one) I could trade for house plants. I definitely need to have a dog. Maybe two small ones, two Bogies. I could happily live in a co-op that is close enough to New York so that I could wander around there. (I would even brave dependence on elevators, though I don't like them.) I'm excessively untidy and have not yet managed the niceties of middle-class life that allows unannounced visitors. Actually, I'd like to get a hold on my need to create clutter, but maybe that will happen in my next life.
I don't want to shovel.
I wouldn't at all mind leaving Boston (a city that I've never fallen in love with) for somewhere closer to New York. Where Krissy plans to be living. I figure I have two more years of teaching here to supplement my pension. And maybe the economy will recover and my investments will reconstitute.
We had a fairly long discussion, just tossing around ideas. It was nice to sit at Shelia's table, with chicken, bread and cheese and talk. Their advice to me was to think about what I really want, not just what I'd be willing to give up. That's a hard pattern to break. I do have, of necessity, a poverty mentality. But I'll try to listen to that advice.