Chapter 115: Moving to Pittsburgh

The following was written for a creative writing class I took when I was 15.

I held the shaky screen door as my girlfriend walked out. We walked slowly, hand in hand, over the little grassy hill she and I had played on with our friends a long time ago. Down the driveway, where I had waited on my bike so many times, waiting for her to come out and play. Away from the ballfield where I had watched her practice at time and again. Toward the pain that is separation. The drive back to our house is too fast, passing many things I always wanted to do, but never will.

My dad works for an environmental agency, and he’s rather good at it. When one job ends, another one starts, most of the time on the other side of the continent. It’s always something. We have been moving a lot lately, every SEASON in Alaska, so you’d kind of think I’d be used to it by now. We have been packing for the past week. We live in a house with no beds, no chairs, and worse yet, no TV. There is almost nothing to do there at all, except for maybe play a game of cards with my brothers. But that gets old fast. I spent most of the last month at my girlfriend’s house. As I slowly say goodbye to all the people I know, I watch my time in this place get shorter and shorter, until, at last, it is the day before we leave. Tomorrow morning, at 7:00 A.M., my family will cease to live in the great province of Nova Scotia. We’re moving to Pittsburgh. Big whoop. Like I know anybody in Pittsburgh.

After saying goodbye to the rooms that were my companions for one and a half years, I walk toward the two figures standing by the big brown van. As I securely fasten myself into the van, the van that will put thousands of miles between my girlfriend and me, the ignition key is turned, and the gentle breeze carrying the singing bird’s song is replaced by the cough of a too old engine. As we drive away from the parts of familiarity, I am sure I never want to do this again.

 Note: Part of the class involved passing around what you wrote and having your classmates provide critical feedback. I remember one girl being incredibly offended that I wasn’t absolutely excited to move to Pittsburgh. “Some people really like Pittsburgh,” she said indignantly. I tried to explain that the assignment was to describe an especially vivid memory, but she wasn’t receptive. At that point I knew my central thesis had been conclusively proven: everyone from Pittsburgh sucks.






One response to “Chapter 115: Moving to Pittsburgh”

  1. Dad

    The song by Great Big Sea called “Fast as I Can” promptly takes me back to that time and those emotions. It was a difficult move.

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