It was the shock.
We’re out for a drink with An, a friend who lives up the road from me. We’re in Polpetta and I’ve arrived a little later than them.
And I forget how it all happened because, to be honest, everything else beforehand became a little blurred.
F is talking about his house near Carrara. He’s talking about doing it up (as I may have mentioned before). During this talking previously, it has been mentioned that it would be done so that, in due course, we could retire there. Of course, “retiring” is something that I’m not sure I’ll get to but, no matter, it’s not for a few years yet. And, of course, the idea of doing it up is not only for that but also to go down there more often. F hates Milan (whereas I love it) and dreams of being somewhere else.
If the house was done up, we could, for example (he says), go down for Christmas, Easter and other times. We would have computers and TV and DVD players and so on. We would have nice (new) furniture and it would really be a home away from home. The dogs would have the garden and it would be totally “ours” (well, his really, but you know what I mean).
I’m happy with this. It would be nice. We’d have his family and friends nearby; we’d have the beach for the summer; the dogs love it – so everything would be good.
Then, last night, he’s talking about it with An and comes out with …..
“Once I’ve got the money to do it and it’s done, we’ll move down there to live.”
My face must have registered the shock of this statement. He adds, to me, “I didn’t tell you before but it means we get out of Milan.”
We had always suggested that, once the house was done, should we lose our jobs or something else happen that we could, if we wanted, move there permanently. But this was a slightly different twist. This was more like once it’s done, we move immediately!
“It’s OK,” he adds, “you can do teaching and editing and I’ll get a job.”
Well, that’s OK except, the pay for teaching down there would be less than here – and here it’s not so fantastic. Plus, teaching means no pay for December/January and mid July to mid September. I don’t know if he understands that.
Not that we would need so much, of course. But, still …….
Then, as we’re talking, he qualifies his shocking statement to “maybe we move down in 1, 2 or 3 years.”
But it was the feeling I had when he first said it. It was a little frightening, to be honest. Now, that seems stupid, even to me. But there you go. I was frightened by the thought.
On the one hand, he obviously sees the future with me in it, which is good. On the other hand …. well, I don’t know, really. I’m not sure why I feel a bit frightened by the thought that we could be there by this time next year. I almost feel “not ready”. It’s not a feeling I have, generally. I’m much more of a “take things as they come” kinda guy. So, in theory, it shouldn’t pose a problem for me.
And, yet, the unease remains. When I first met him I would have moved in with him the next day. Now, I’m more “it’s OK as it is”.
“We’ll buy all new furniture,” he says. “But what about my furniture?” I ask. “We’ll sell it,” he replies.
I pull a face. I’m really not so happy about that. I mean to say, I’m not that bothered about “things” but ….. they are my things and, in some way define a little who I am. I don’t want to get rid of them. I would if, say, we were moving to the other side of the world but, still, getting rid of all my furniture would mean giving up nearly everything I own. Then I really would, almost, have nothing, plus some things are irreplaceable. The grandfather clock and the bookcase are what I bought with the money my dear Grandfather left me. To part with these two things would be difficult.
And, yet, they are only things, so in reality less important.
They aren’t the reason for me feeling so unsettled about the possible move. Part of it but not really that much.
No, I don’t know why I feel like this. It’s not normal for me. Well, it’s not the “new normal” that came with the move to Italy anyway.
But after he said it, I was unable to speak at all for a few minutes.
And there’s still an element of shock that remains.
So, I guess we’ll see what happens. After all, F does tend to say things that don’t necessarily happen. So, let’s not panic just yet, eh?