By Nicole Cater
Not quite a year ago I moved to Clinton. I had high expectations. Perhaps I would volunteer. Maybe I would join a club or two. The first few months were filled with painting, repairing, moving furniture and moving it again. Hanging pictures and all the minutiae that comes with the purchase of a house,
But then we settled in and all the routine things began to happen. Jeremy went to work. Sky went to school. And I… Well, some days I wrote. Some days I window shopped online. Some days I spent all day reading. I did make an attempt at volunteering. But I had to stop after the first day because they wanted to hand me a schedule and assign me tasks. Things that were like, you know, work, which I can’t do even if I wanted.
It turns out that was the only opportunity to volunteer. There were no others. There were no clubs either - social or otherwise. In Clinton, people made friends with the parents of the children involved in whatever activity their child is in. As of yet, there is no Gamers' Moms' Club. Unless you count me downstairs sewing yelling at Sky and all his gamer friends that, "By God, I am 40 years old and not afraid to take a single one over my knee if I so desire."
I do go to the Quad cities once or twice a month for doctor appointments, to see friends, to deal with business. Always to see my mom. I don’t have many friends in the Quad Cities. I’d like to think I have enough to make a fire chain to rescue me if I needed it. True, with my stops so brief, I don’t always get to see them. Sometimes I try, and even the best laid plans can get muddled. But I’m going to make a pledge, whether it’s a night out for drinks, dinner with the family, or your lunch break at work, I am going to see you.
But as noble as this sounds, Clinton is only 45 minutes away, and since my life is busy doing nothing, I can easily drop it and go visit. But what about the other way around? One friend visited on an errand. I don’t blame her for this as I have not issued a proper invitation. Nor do I have stools for our bar. Nor is our hot tub filled (dammit, Jeremy). Nor is there a grill for the men to grunt over (dammit again, Jeremy).
My mom has visited only once. She works a lot and is busy in the church and she knows I’ll come to her. And my best friend has visited a couple of times. Mostly to help get the house in habitable shape, but once just to visit.
And so I sit, so close to the QC I can drive it in 45 minutes. But rarely do I get a visitor. It’s a lonely existence, knowing this is where I live, so close to where my friends are. And yet I have not a single friend here. I sit, day after day, completely alone, trying to figure out what will make the day go faster; speed the boys home. But even then, there problems are nothing I can relate to, because they have life, I have four walls and a dog and cat for companions. My life is lonely.
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